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Just what the doctor ordered--or is it?

Pharmacists might make a mistake when filling your prescription for Celebrex, the new COX-2 inhibitor, anti-inflammatory medication used mainly for arthritis pain (see Running & FitNews, March 1999). Within just a few weeks of hitting the market, at least 40 documented errors were reported to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a non-profit, educational and watch dog organization for the pharmaceutical industry Confusion has occurred due to the similarity among three different medications: Celebrex, Celexa (an antidepressant), and Cerebyx (an anti-seizure medication). Since that original report many more mistakes have occurred.

The potential for fatal errors involving an overdose of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is tremendous because of the popularity of both types of drugs. Most major antidepressants currently in use are of the SSRI type including Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, and Celexa and account for millions of prescriptions. If a patient is currently taking an SSRI and Celexa is dispensed by mistake when Celebrex was intended, a potentially fatal overdose could occur. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices is requesting that the manufacturer and the Food and Drug Administration consider renaming Celebrex in order to avoid confusion. Meanwhile, if you are prescribed Celebrex for a sports injury or chronic arthritis, make certain every time you fill your prescription that you are getting what the doctor ordered. (For more information, contact the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, 301-497-2375 or
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Title Annotation:similarity of brand names of Celebrex, Celexa and Cerebyx lead to pharmacy errors
Publication:Running & FitNews
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2000
Previous Article:Runner's Circle.
Next Article:When to eat your pre-exercise meal.

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