Brintellix Changed to Trintellix to Curb Brand Name Confusion with Brilinta

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.

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.

The new brand name of the drug is expected to become available starting in June 2016. Because of the lag time associated with manufacturing bottles with the new brand name, patients, pharmacists, and other health care professionals may continue to see medication bottles labeled with the brand name Brintellix during the transition period.

No other changes will be made to the drug’s label or packaging, and Trintellix tablets will look the same as the Brintellix tablets.

Pharmacists and other health care professionals should check carefully to make sure that they’ve prescribed or dispensed the correct drug. During the brand name transition, prescribers can reduce the risk of name confusion by including the medication’s generic name—vortioxetine for Brintellix/Trintellix and ticagrelor for Brilinta—in addition to the brand name and intended indication. Meanwhile, pharmacists should check that they’ve dispensed the correct medication, and patients should check their prescriptions to ensure that the correct drug was dispensed.

In a previous interview with Pharmacy Times, Institute for Safe Medicine Practices (ISMP) president Michael Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD, DPS, FASHP, identified the Brintellix and Brilinta brand name confusion as one of the most common name-related medication safety issues reported to the ISMP in 2014.

“Oftentimes, doctors and pharmacists, when entering the name the drug, will type the first 3 letters—B-R-I—and mistakenly select the first of the drugs that pops up,” Cohen said.

The FDA warned back in July 2015 that name confusion between Brintellix and Brilinta had resulted in prescribing and dispensing errors since Brintellix was approved in September 2013. Due to continued reports of name confusion between the 2 medications, which are used for very different purposes, the FDA worked with Brintellix manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals to change the drug’s brand name to Trintellix.

Those responsible for ordering and stocking medications should be aware that Trintellix will have a new National Drug Code (NDC) number. It’s important for drug information content publishers and medication-related electronic system administrators to use the new brand name Trintellix and NDC number once Takeda makes vortioxetine available under the new name Trintellix.

In the meantime, the FDA is encouraging health care professionals and patients to report adverse events and side effects related to the use of either product to its MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Reporting Program.