MEDICATION ERRORS: Something's lost in translation

May 2005 
Volume 35  Number 5
Pages 12 - 12
  PDF Version Available!


  • Table. Just a few me...

  • An American who was traveling in Serbia ran out of the calcium channel blocker diltiazem (Dilacor XR). In Serbia, “Dilacor” is a trade name for digoxin, and the traveler unknowingly received digoxin when he refilled his prescription. He had to be hospitalized for life-threatening digoxin toxicity after returning home.

    A number of drug trade names used in the United States apply to totally different ingredients in some countries. Although Dilacor is a trade name for diltiazem in the United States, it's a name for digoxin in Serbia, barnidipine in Argentina, and verapamil in Brazil. No global system exists to monitor or restrict trade names, so getting drugs from other countries is risky at a time when interest in drug importation to save money is growing.

    Remind patients who are traveling abroad to carry enough of their medications. And whether they're traveling or buying medications on the Internet, ...

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