Consumers Filling U.S. Prescriptions Abroad May Get the Wrong Active Ingredient

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising healthcare professionals and consumers that filling U.S. prescriptions abroad may give patients the wrong active ingredient for treating their health condition. Some FDA-approved products have the same brand names as drug products that are marketed outside the U.S. but contain completely different active ingredients. In addition, 105 U.S. brand names are so similar to foreign brand names used for products with different active ingredients that patients who fill prescriptions abroad may inadvertently get the wrong drugs. Using the wrong drugs creates avoidable risks of adverse drug reactions with no health improvements. Consumers who fill U.S. prescriptions abroad, either when traveling or when shopping at foreign internet pharmacies, need to take caution because foreign drugs may use identical or potentially confusing brand names for products with different active ingredients. FDA cautions that its list of identical brand names used for different drugs in other countries is probably not comprehensive and is subject to change.