Wednesday, April 13, 2011

List of Confused Drug Names



As Pharmacists, it is our duty to ensure the safety of the patients by dispensing the right medicines. But no matter how devoted we are in giving out the correct drugs from the shelves, still there are times that we commit mistakes. Mistakes that can lead to serious devastating effects to patients which we don’t want to happen. There were instances that such mistakes lead to death.


There are so many drugs that are confused of other drugs. They can be look-alike or sound-alike. We must exert effort in dispensing medicines. We must not rely on our memories; bring the prescription with you as you look for the medicines. Read it as many times as possible to make sure that you didn’t mistake it with other drug. Confirm with the doctor if you are unsure of something. The following are just example of these confused drug names:

Dioval             -           Diovan
iodine              -           Lodine
lorazepam        -           clonazepam
Rapidex           -           Casodex
Lyrica              -           Lamictal
Zyrtec              -           Zyprexa
Rifater             -           Rifadin
Ritonavir         -           Retrovir
Viagra             -           Allegra
Xanax              -           Zantac
Xeloda             -           Xenical
Yasmin            -           Yaz
Zyvox              -           Zovirax


For more look-alikes, sound-alike drugs, here’s the a List of Confused Drug Names from Institute of Safe Medication Practices




Thursday, April 7, 2011

Throw Away Your Old Medicines Safely



Photo Courtesy of ernes


When was the last time you check your medicine cabinet? You can do it after you read this article if you may. Old and not needed medicines should be discarded properly to avoid serious problems. EXP (Expiration Date) is normally printed on all over-the-counter or non-prescription medicines. Look for it and if it is outdated, toss it in the bin. Remember that expired medicines cannot give the desired effect we are hoping for, but instead it can result to serious cases. Example of this is kidney failure for taking expired tetracycline.


Flushing down the toilet is no longer advisable measure to dispose the medications. These medications can find their way into waterways which could possibly caused abnormalities of fish or sometimes accidental human poisoning.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Error-Prone Abbreviations, Symbols and Dose Designation

Photo Courtesy of ignis

Institute of Safe Medication Practices released a table of NEVER to use abbreviation, symbols and dose designation in communicating medical information. Some of which are given below:


 Abbreviation
 Intended Meaning
 Misinterpretation
 Correction

µg

Microgram

Confused as "mg"

Use "mcg"
BT
Bedtime
Confused as "BID" twice daily
Use "bedtime"
 qd or QD
Daily
Confused as "QID"   
Use "daily"
 qhs
Nightly at bedtime
Confused as "qhr" or every hour
Use "nightly"
 Inderal40 mg
Inderal 40 mg
Confused as Inderal 140mg
Use adequate space between drug name, dose and unit of measure.
 Tegretol300 mg
Tegretol 300 mg
Confused as Tegretol 1300 mg 
Use adequate space between drug name, dose and unit of measure.
 AZT
ridovudine (Retrovir)
Confused as azathioprine or aztreonam
Use complete name of drug.
 HCT
hydrocortisone
Confused as hydrochlrothiazide
Use complete name of drug.
 HCTZ
hydrochlorothiazide
Confused as hydrocortisone (HCT250mg) 
Use complete name of drug.
 MTX
methotrexate
Confused as mitoxantrone 
Use complete name of drug.
 
 Dram
Confused as "3" 
Use the metric system. 
 º
 Hour
Confused as a zero (eg. q1º seen as q10
Use "hr", "h", or "hour" 




Source: Institute for Safe Medication Practices

Let's be a part in promoting safe practices.

Click the link below for the complete list: