A patient was seriously injured when a pharmacy error caused him to drop wart remover into his eyes following surgery.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the medication error report late last year. The victim, who was recovering from ocular surgery, was prescribed the topical corticosteroid Durezol to treat eye inflammation and pain. Unfortunately, the pharmacist gave the patient Durasal, a wart remover containing salicylic acid. Neither the patient nor the pharmacist noticed the mistake in time, leading to a caustic eye injury.
The FDA released a warning after the incident alerting pharmacists to the similarity between the two drug brand names. According to their data, several dispensing mistakes have occurred since the two medications were released onto the market, though many were caught before injury occurred.
Durezol is an FDA-approved difluprednate ophthalmic emulsion from Sirion Therapeutics. The wart remover Durasal, from Elorac Inc., was released without approval by the FDA, so the sound-alike drug error was not recognized before the drug was made available to the public.
In response to the health safety issue, the FDA has asked Elorac Inc. to remove Durasal from the market. The distributor has not yet responded to the request, nor have they recalled the product despite the FDA's warning about potential patient risk.
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