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AUDIENCE: Pharmacy, Cardiology, Psychiatry
ISSUE: FDA is warning health care professionals and patients that reports of confusion between the antidepressant Brintellix and anti-blood clotting medication Brilinta have resulted in the wrong medication being prescribed or dispensed. FDA determined that the main reason for the confusion between these two medications is the similarity of their brand (proprietary) names. None of the reports indicates that a patient ingested the wrong medication; however, reports of prescribing and dispensing errors continue.
BACKGROUND: Brintellix (vortioxetine) is used to treat a certain type of depression called major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. It is in a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Brilinta (ticagrelor) 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 or severe chest pain.
RECOMMENDATION: Health care professionals can reduce the risk of name confusion by including the generic (established) name of the medication, in addition to the brand name, and the indication for use when prescribing these medications. Patients should check their prescriptions to ensure that the correct medication was dispensed. See the FDA Drug Safety Communication for more detailed recommendations.
Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:
Read the MedWatch safety alert, including a link to the Drug Safety Communication, at:
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