This approach has identified more potential medication name problems than were found in the published literature, possibly because most published lists are the result of voluntarily reported medication
incidents. A proactive review of potential problems might contribute to averting errors with previously unidentified problem drugs. A model has been developed, also based on Levenshtein distance, which automates an orthographic approach to name comparisons, using similarities in the spelling of drug names to predict name confusion. A distance value of five buy RO4929097 was found to provide a cut-off with high sensitivity and specificity. The method can provide agencies responsible for approving trademarks and drug names with a valid and reliable method for assessing the likelihood of look-alike, sound-alike medication name errors. This method lacks features that manual evaluation of names by experts can provide – e.g. consideration
of dosage, indication and physical appearance of the drug. However, as a computerised method, it allows the automated comparison of new drug names with the thousands of drug names already in existence. An alternative approach is to take advantage of the phonetic characteristics of individual sounds to estimate the similarity of names. This does require BMN 673 manufacturer phonetic transcription before analysis – but allows the identification of confusable words that orthographic methods do not pick up. The highest accuracy in identifying confusable names is obtained by using a combination of orthographic and phonetic approaches. The likelihood of a medication name being confused is reduced, the more distinctive the name. This has led to the suggestion that the full names of drugs be used wherever possible (e.g. prednisolone sodium phosphate rather than prednisolone to reduce the risk of confusion with prednisone). While it has been suggested BCKDHA that only
generic names, or international non-proprietary names (INNs), be used in an effort to reduce look-alike, sound-alike errors involving proprietary (trade) names, it has also been suggested that only trade names be used to avoid confusion among similar sounding generic names. The solution may be to use both generic as well as trade names (if one is available) for drugs with a known potential to cause confusion. Including the indication on the prescription (and possibly the medication label) would also assist correct recognition of the appropriate medication name. Some research looks at the use of ‘tall-man’ letters; that is, uppercase letters, to differentiate sections of drug names that may sound or look alike.[39,45] An example from the Australian national tall-man lettering list aims to differentiate cefUROXime, cefOTAXime, and cefTAZIDime. Research suggests that tall-man letters do not make names less confusable in memory but do make similar names easier to distinguish – if participants are aware that this is the purpose of the uppercase letters.