Thursday, July 30, 2015

FDA Issues Warning Over Brintellix, Brilinta Confusion

The Food and Drug Administration today issued a warning to health care professionals and patients concerning reports of confusion between the antidepressant Brintellix (vortioxetine) and the anti-blood clotting medication Brilinta (ticagrelor), which has resulted in the wrong medication being prescribed or dispensed.

The FDA has determined that the main reason for the confusion between the two medications—with extremely different indications—is the similarity in the marketed names of the drugs. While Brintellix is used to treat major depressive disorder, Brilinta is used to lower the risk of recurrent heart attacks or death from a heart problem after a heart attack or severe chest pain.

To reduce the risk of name confusion, the FDA recommends that health care professionals include the generic name of the medication (e.g., vortioxetine) in addition to the brand name and the indication for use when prescribing the medication. The FDA also recommends that patients check their prescriptions to ensure that the correct medication was dispensed.

Thus far, no reports made to the FDA regarding the name confusion have indicated that a patient has ingested the wrong medication; however, the agency announced that reports of prescribing and dispensing errors continue.


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