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In Brief: OTC abbreviations

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

OTC abbreviations: The potential for confusion regarding "dangerous or ambiguous abbreviations" in OTC product names is noted by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in the Nov. 5 ISMP Medication Safety Alert. As an example, the nonprofit healthcare education group points to the use of "AD" in the names of three dissimilar OTC products -- J&J's recently approved Nizoral AD (ketoconazole 1%) antidandruff shampoo, McNeil's Imodium A-D (loperamide 5 mL) antidiarrheal and Novartis' Ascriptin A/D (buffered aspirin) analgesic for arthritis relief. "An important way to prevent miscommunication in any field is to standardize and control vocabulary," ISMP states, noting many institutions have created lists of unallowable abbreviations. "These institutions appear to be ahead of the curve compared to pharmaceutical industry practice and FDA regulations," the group adds...
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