Eye Drops and Wart Remover With Similar Sounding Names Results in Prescription Error

If a doctor prescribes you a medication and you take that order to a pharmacy, you do not expect to be given the wrong medicine. You expect to take the prescription and feel better, not that it could make you sicker. But sometimes staff members do make pharmacy mistakes that can have serious consequences.

In late 2011, doctors were warned about a potential medicine mix-up between two very different medications with similar names. Reuters reports a pharmacist confused the two drugs Durasal and Durezol in the most recent case of mistaken identity. Durasal is a wart remover that includes salicylic acid. It is very different from Durezol, which is a steroid eye drop used after eye surgery.

If patients are prescribed the eye drops but instead get the wrong drug and use the wart remover in their eyes, they can suffer a serious injury. Wart removers like Durasal are not meant to be used on the face due to the high concentration of salicylic acid. Safety warnings say that if the solution accidentally gets in the eye it should be flushed with water for fifteen minutes. But a patient who received the wrong drug would not know it and would not flush his eyes after putting in what he thinks to be eye drops.

Typically, the FDA screens medicine names to try to avoid such confusion. However, since the wart remover is not FDA approved, the similarities in the name were not caught. The distributor, Elorac, has not responded to requests to stop selling the wart remover.


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