When filling prescriptions, yes – spelling counts!

We may be decades past elementary school, but spelling still counts!

I was reading the FDA MedWatch warning about prescribing errors due to two drugs with similar names: Risperidone and Ropinirole.

Similar is in the eye of the reader, I guess. But to me, they both start with Rs and end with Es so we should be able to tell the difference.

And it’s a pretty important difference. You see, Risperidone is a powerful antipsychotic prescribed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, while Ropinirole treats Parkinson’s and restless leg syndrome.

The FDA notice includes this note: “Healthcare Professionals are reminded to clearly print or spell out the medication name on prescriptions.”

Does the FDA really have to remind intelligent adults that good penmanship is required and spelling counts when you’re prescribing potentially life-altering drugs?

Unfortunately, it appears they do.

“FDA MedWatch – Risperidone (Risperdal) and Ropinirole (Requip): Medication Errors – Name Confusion” FDA, 6/13/11, fda.gov

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