FDA warns of confusion between anti-blood clotting medication and antidepressant

The FDA warned that errors in prescriptions and medications dispensed have occurred because of confusion between an anti-blood clotting medication and an antidepressant that have similar names.

As of June, the FDA had received 50 reports of medication errors between ticagrelor (Brilinta, AstraZeneca) and vortioxetine (Brintellix, Takeda and Lundbeck), according to a July 30 safety announcement. The agency said it had not found that a patient ingested the wrong medication, but it added that the errors have continued.

Ticagrelor, an antiplatelet medication, is used to lower the risk of a recurrent heart attack or death from a heart problem following a heart attack or severe chest pain. It is dispensed in a round tablet with a “90” above a “T” stamped on one side.

Vortioxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is used to treat major depressive disorder. It is dispensed in a tear-shaped tablet with “TL” on one side and a number with the tablet strength on the other side. The drug is available in 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg and 20 mg tablets.