“Though the original name was fully screened prior to launch, after learning about name confusion issues with Brintellix and Brilinta, we quickly took action to educate health care professionals and pharmacies about the potential for name confusion,” Thomas Harris, vice president of global regulatory affairs at Takeda, said in a statement. “Takeda and Lundbeck then proactively worked with the FDA and decided to change the name of our product as we believe this action will help minimize future risk of patients inadvertently receiving the incorrect medication.”
The companies emphasized that vortioxetine itself—formulation, dosing, and recommended usage—are unchanged. During the transition period this summer, health care providers can still prescribe, and patients will still have access to, the product under its current brand name. To reduce the risk of name confusion during this transition, the FDA recommends prescribers include the generic name of the medication they are ordering.
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to health care professionals and patients concerning reports of confusion between Brintellix and Brilinta because of their similar brand names. At that time, the FDA said there had been no reports that any patients had ingested the wrong medication, but the agency did say there were reports of prescribing and dispensing errors.
For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “Psychopharmacologists Seek New Nomenclature for Psychiatric Drugs.”