Name confusion leads to awareness campaign

May 30, 2006

AstraZeneca has launched a campaign directed at healthcareproviders after receiving reports of confusion between brand-namedrugs Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate), Topamax (topiramate,Ortho-McNeil), and Tegretol (carbamazepine, Novartis) and TegretolXR that have led to medication errors. The effort will aim toincrease awareness of the problem and reinforce accurateprescribing and dispensing of Toprol-XL.

AstraZeneca has launched a campaign directed at healthcare providers after receiving reports of confusion between brand-name drugs Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate), Topamax (topiramate, Ortho-McNeil), and Tegretol (carbamazepine, Novartis) and Tegretol XR that have led to medication errors. The effort will aim to increase awareness of the problem and reinforce accurate prescribing and dispensing of Toprol-XL. As part of the campaign, the company will change the appearance of the package label by using a new font and different colors and will run ads in various healthcare journals alerting clinicians to the potential for name mix-up. AstraZeneca also plans to develop "shelf-shouters" that will remind pharmacists which drug they are reaching for. Toprol-XL is an extended-release beta-blocker used to treat hypertension, angina pectoris, and NYHA Class II or III heart failure in patients already taking other cardiac medications.

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