The FDA is warning health care professionals and patients about prescribing and dispensing errors related to confusion between the antidepressant Brintellix and the blood thinner Brilinta.
 
While no reports have indicated that patients ingested the wrong drug, the FDA is asking both health care professionals and patients to remain vigilant.
 
Health care professionals can reduce the risk of brand name confusion by including the generic name—vortioxetine for Brintellix and ticagrelor for Brilinta—as well as the intended indication when prescribing these medications. Meanwhile, patients should check their prescriptions to ensure that the correct drug was dispensed.
 
In a previous interview with Skidki-na-vse, Institute for Safe Medicine Practices (ISMP) president Michael Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD, DPS, FASHP, identified this Brintellix and Brilinta confusion as one of the most common name-related medication safety issues reported to the ISMP last year.
 
“These are 2 medications with completely different purposes,” he noted.
 
He postulated that electronic prescribing plays a role in the related dispensing errors.
 
“Oftentimes, doctors and pharmacists, when entering the name the drug, will type the first 3 letters—B-R-I—and mistakenly select the first of the drugs that pops up,” Cohen said.
 
The FDA is encouraging health care professionals and patients to report adverse events and side effects related to the use of either product to its MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Reporting Program.