Many medications share similar letters. They are frequently referred to as medications with "look-alike" names. These medications can appear very similar when written or may sound alike when spoken. Because of the similarities, these medications have sometimes been mixed up with each other.
A list of the most frequently confused drug names can be located here. If you find one of the medications you take on this list, look at the other medication(s) that has a similar name. When you pick up medication at the pharmacy, be sure a mix-up has not happened. Handwritten prescriptions for medications with similar names can easily be confused. Or a prescription called into the pharmacy could be misheard as another sound-alike medication.
The best way to make sure a mix-up does not happen is to ask your doctor to include the purpose of the medication on the prescription or to tell your pharmacist the reason the medication was prescribed for you. Most medications with look-alike or sound-alike names are not used for the same purpose. Using a series of capital letters to make the dissimilar letters stand out is another way healthcare professionals prevent mix-ups with these look-alike medication names. In the list below, we have used capital letters (called "tall man" letters) for this purpose with the medications that most often employ this strategy.