Brintellix Changing Names to Trintellix for Safety

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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There are many medications on the market that have very similar names, which can sometimes be confusing for you, your pharmacist, and your doctor.

One example is Brintellix (an anti-depressant) and Brilinta (a blood thinner). Especially since they treat such different conditions, confusing these two prescriptions can cause big problems—and could even be life-threatening.

To lower the risk of mixing these two up, and to decrease prescribing and dispensing mistakes, the FDA just approved a name change for Brintellix. If you’re currently taking Brintellix, here’s what you need to know:

What is the new brand name for Brintellix?
Brintellix will now be known as Trintellix.

When will Trintellix be available?
Trintellix is expected to replace Brintellix in pharmacies by June 2016.

Will I still be able to get my medication during the name change transition?

Yes. During the transition your doctor can still prescribe Brintellix for you, and your pharmacy will still have it in stock.

Is anything other than the name changing?

No. Trintellix will be the same exact medication and continue to look exactly the same.

What sparked the name change?

The FDA issued a safety warning in July 2015 on confusion between Brintellix and Brilinta. Since Brintellix was approved in September of 2013 there have been both prescribing and dispensing errors due to mix-ups with Brilinta.

Are there any other recent examples of a medication name change of this caliber?

Yes. Believe it or not, the same manufacturer of Brintellix had this happen in 2010 with their drug formerly known as Kapidex.

Kapidex, used for heartburn, was being confused with Casodex, a medication used for advanced prostate cancer, and with Kadian, a powerful pain medication.

Since mixing up medications confusion can be potentially life-threatening, manufacturer Takeda, with the help of the FDA approved the name change from Kapidex to what we know today as Dexilant.

For more information on the Kapidex name change to Dexilant check out the FDA news release from 2010.

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