Brintellix and Brilinta mix-ups


Brintellix and Brilinta mix-ups. An elderly woman required hospitalization when the pharmacy confused Brintellix and Brilinta and gave her the wrong medicine. Brintellix (vortioxetine) is a medicine used to treat depression. Brilinta (ticagrelor) is a medicine that helps to prevent clots in patients with certain heart diseases. The woman was given a prescription for Brilinta 90 mg to take twice a day. But the pharmacy staff misread the medicine label on the bottle that was selected from the shelf and filled the prescription with Brintellix 10 mg. The medicine bottles for Brilinta and Brintellix were on the same shelf, side-by-side, and the wrong bottle was picked up.

After taking the depression medicine twice a day for 9 days, the woman became very dizzy and fell, hitting her face on the way down. She was admitted to a hospital and developed a black eye. Fortunately, she did not fracture any bones.

Because the names of the medicines look so similar, errors can also happen when reading a prescription or picking out the medicine in the pharmacy computer that prints the pharmacy label. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also warned consumers about the risk of a mix-up. FDA had received more than 50 reports of mix-ups by the end of the summer 2015.

Here’s what you can do: When picking up your prescription, make sure you open the bag and verify that you have the right medicine that was prescribed for you. If your doctor gives you a prescription for either Brintellix or Brilinta, be sure to read the information leaflet that comes with the medicine when you pick it up at the pharmacy. The leaflet will clearly tell you whether the medicine you were given is used to treat depression or to prevent clots with certain heart disease. If a mix-up in the pharmacy happens, you will quickly be able to tell. If you are given the wrong medicine, return the incorrect medicine to the pharmacy and call your doctor.

Created on February 1, 2016

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