5 Notable Drug Name Changes


Brintellix isn't the only drug that underwent a brand name change in order to curb confusion with another drug.

Brintellix isn’t the only drug that underwent a brand name change in order to curb confusion with another drug.

The FDA recently announced that the brand name of the antidepressant Brintellix has been changed to Trintellix in order to avoid prescribing and dispensing errors related to the drug’s confusion with the blood thinner Brilinta.

Pharmacy Times’ Facebook followers responded to the news by reminiscing about the following noteworthy brand name changes:

1. Losec Changed to Prilosec

Shortly after the launch of the proton pump inhibitor Losec (omeprazole) in 1989, reports of confusion with the diuretic Lasix (furosemide) began to arrive. Following the report of the death of a patient due to this confusion, the brand name Losec was changed to Prilosec in the United States.

2. Celebra Changed to Celebrex

G.D. Searle originally chose the name Celebra (celecoxib) for its blockbuster arthritis drug, but then a pharmacy professor complained that it sounded too similar to Forest Laboratories’ antidepressant Celexa. The FDA agreed, and so Celebra was changed to Celebrex.

3. Reminyl Changed to Razadyne

The brand name of Ortho-McNeil Neurologics’ Alzheimer’s drug Reminyl (galantamine HBr) was changed to Razadyne back in July 2005 to help avoid confusion with Sanofi-Aventis’ diabetes drug Amaryl (glimepiride).

Ortho-McNeil Neurologics worked closely with the FDA about necessary actions upon learning of several reports of prescribing and dispensing errors between Reminyl and Amaryl. In 2 cases, patients with Alzheimer’s disease were given Amaryl, which resulted in their deaths.

4. Kapidex Changed to Dexilant

Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc announced in March 2010 that Kapidex (dexlansoprazole) would be marketed as Dexilant (dexlansoprazole). This brand name change was due to reports of dispensing errors between Kapidex and Casodex (bicalutamide) and Kadian (morphine sulfate extended-release).

The product is indicated for heartburn associated with symptomatic nonerosive gastroesophageal reflux disease, the healing of erosive esophagitis (EE), and the maintenance of healed EE.

5. Omacor Changed to Lovaza

Reliant Pharmaceuticals announced on August 3, 2007, that the brand name of Omacor was changed to Lovaza (omega-3-acid ethyl esters). This change was implemented in response to a limited number of reports of prescribing and dispensing errors due to similarity in name between Omacor capsules and Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals’ Amicar (aminocaproic acid).

Lovaza is indicated as an adjunct to diet to reduce very high (greater than or equal to 500 mg/dL) triglyceride levels in adult patients. In individuals with hypertriglyceridemia, excess body weight and excess alcohol intake may be important contributing factors and should be addressed before initiating any drug therapy.

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