The FDA is warning doctors, pharmacists and patients about how easy it is to mix up drugs that have similar brand names. Specifically, the FDA reports there has been confusion between the antidepressant Brintellix and anti-blood clotting medication Brilinta that has resulted in the wrong medication being prescribed or dispensed.
As of June 2015, the FDA has received 50 reports of medication error cases due to brand name confusion with Brintellix and Brilinta. To date, none of the errors resulted in harm to the patients.
Some mix-ups occurred when pharmacists made an error, confusing the two drugs. Some mix-ups occurred at the doctor’s office.
The two drugs do very different things. Brintellix is used to treat major depressive disorder in adults. It comes in a tear-shaped tablet stamped with “TL” on one side and a number that indicates the tablet strength on the other side. It varies in color depending upon the strength prescribed.
Brilinta is an antiplatelet, anti-blood clotting medication used to lower the risk of having another heart attack, or dying from a heart problem after a heart attack. Brilinta is a round, yellow tablet with a “90” above a “T” stamped on one side.
The FDA advises patients to check their prescriptions to ensure that the correct medication was dispensed. Know the names of the medications you’re taking and why you’re taking them. Read the medication guides the pharmacy gives you. Once you get your medication, if something doesn’t look right, ask your pharmacist about it.
Here is the FDA’s warning.
Unfortunately, injuries can and do result from medication errors and prescription misfills. if it happens to you or someone you love, Marsh, Rickard & Bryan has experience handling such cases and our lawyers are available to consult with you about it.