Prevent Med Mixups

By butterfly_8 Latest Reply 2008-08-14 05:19:59 -0500
Started 2008-08-11 10:07:09 -0500

The names of more than 1,400 drugs are frighteningly similar to those of others ,creating potentially troubling confusion, according to a study done recently by the United States Pharmacopeia(USP), a scientific organization. Here are four ways to avoid this simple mistake, plus several common drug sound- alikes all of which have been dispensed incorrectly and actually harmed patients.
1. Copy down the drug name and dosage on a seperate piece of paper and read it back to DR. to confirm.
2.Confirm a generic's brand -name equivalent and indication with your pharmacist after receiving your meds.many prescriptions are filled with generics , meaning the drug name on on a bottle label could be different.from the one your physician prescribed.
3. Verify the medication's "indication for use " ( the symptoms it treats ) on the information sheet most pharmacies include with medications.
4. Still unsure? Search for your drug by name online in
( government's Medline Plus Database, and call your doctor before taking the first pill if you still have doubts.
Common Rx Doundalikes
ACTOS- for Type @ diabetes—Actonel-for osteoporosis
Celebrex- for Arthritis, Celex- for depression
Prilosec- for acid reflux, Prozac- for depression
HESpan-to thicken blood, Heparin- to thin blood,
Metformin- for type2 diabetes, Metroniazole- an antibiotic,Sulfasalazine-for yulcerative colitis, Sulfadiazine- an antibiotic.

6 replies

DiabetesDiva 2008-08-14 05:14:22 -0500 Report

I use Walgreens online site to reorder my prescriptions and then pick them up at the store. I can see my entire RX history on the website and can also print the list if I need to.
This is a good reminder!


butterfly_8 2008-08-14 05:19:59 -0500 Report

I also use walgreens. I am satisfied with their services on a whle.I especially like the printout I get with my meds,and their personal services..

morris.js 2008-08-14 04:25:18 -0500 Report

I too live in a small town, and our pharmacy knows every single person that comes in for prescriptions. They know all of our medical conditions, and are very good at telling us if something is going to look different due to being a generic now or different manufaturer and so on.
Even with this good communication with the pharmacist, you still need to read labels for correct dosing information, look at the drug itself for any noticable differences, and be sure you are getting what was prescribed. Another thing our pharmacy does, is that one pharmacist fills the prescription, but before it is given to us, a second one verifies that it was filled properly. I do not know if all pharmacies do this, or if it is just a practice this one does on it's own.

butterfly_8 2008-08-14 04:38:30 -0500 Report

You are lucky to have people who really care.
I believe we can never be to careful. Just one mistake can be too much.

gogobob 2008-08-14 01:17:56 -0500 Report

I am lucky and live in a small town and my drug store helps me when i go to get my meds i take a months worth of pill containers and they fill it for me
They where even nice and gave me the idea as well as the pill boxes. it helps me alot I might pay a little more for some meds but it is so worth it to know that they are set up right.

CateyeMarble 2008-08-13 17:39:24 -0500 Report

I would also add that you look at the prescription and tablet/capsules at the counter and question any that do not look like your previous ones. If it is a legitimate change in dosage, the pill change in color. If it is a manufacturer switch the pharmacy should tell you. Watch for different actions and reactions when changing manufacturers, or going from the original pill to the generic. Even though same dosage there may be slight variance in how your body reacts to them

Luckily I asked one time as a pill was different from before — they had labeled the wrong bottle! That's why I ma leary of ordering drugs online and not having a person to talk with.