Report Reveals Similar Drug Names Often Lead to Serious Mix-Ups

I found this article on courant.com about a report recently released by standard-setting organization for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industry, U.S. Pharmacopeiahas, or USP, which found that there are at least 3000 pairs of drugs with similar names, which is contributing to the high incidence of pharmacy dispensing mistakes. Here are a few examples:

-Zestril (high blood pressure) and  Zetia (cholesterol)

-Lamactil (epilepsy) and Lamisil (fungal infections)

-Celebrex (arthritis) and Celexa (antidepressant)

-Zantac (reflux) and Xanax (anxiety)

Scary, right? The article offers some helpful tips to protect yourself from a mix-up with potentially deadly consequences:

-Don’t have your prescription telephoned in

-Make sure the script is printed in English (as opposed to Latin code or illegible scribble)

-Keep a copy of your prescription

-Double check the pills and the label BEFORE you leave the pharmacy

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