Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Acid in the eye? Ow

Similar drug names apparently led to a mistake and serious injury for a patient who put acid in an eye when the drops were meant for skin warts.

Acid in the eye? Ow

Always try to double check what medicine you're taking.

Always ask your pharmacist to double check what he or she is giving you.

It's harder to do that with the mail order pharmacy, but look at what they send you.

Why?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning and another reminder why on Wednesday when it alerted patients and pharmacists about two products -- one approved, one not - that have similar names and were mixed up, resulting in serious injury to a person who put acid in their eye when it was supposed to be used only on skin warts.

The similar names were apparently the problem in this case.

Durezol is the approved prescription medicine for treatment of inflammation and pain associated with a type of eye surgery.

Durasal is the unapproved prescription topical wart remover, which contains salicylic acid.

In its statement, the FDA said, "The FDA, as part of the drug approval process, screens proprietary names for similarities to the names of other products currently on the market; however, Durasal (salicylic acid) is an unapproved product that did not undergo FDA’s drug approval process. The agency, therefore, was not able to evaluate Durasal for potential name confusion prior to the product being marketed. Additionally, Durasal (salicylic acid) entered the market shortly after FDA approved Durezol. Elorac, Inc., the distributor of the unapproved product Durasal, has to date not responded to FDA's inquiry into removing the product from the market place. To date, Elorac has also not recalled the product in response to FDA's inquiry regarding the risk to patients."

A call to Elorac by The Inquirer was not returned on Wednesday.

David Sell
About this blog
David Sell blogs about the region's pharmaceutical industry. Follow him on Facebook.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Reach David at dsell@phillynews.com.

David Sell
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