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ISMP Medication Safety Alert


OTC drug names-Is what you see really what you get?

Take this quick quiz:
What are the active ingredients in each of these OTC medications?
A) Mylanta AR® B) Mylanta® cherry creme liquid C) Mylanta® gas relief D) Mylanta® double strength tablets

The answers might surprise you: A) famotidine; B) aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, simethicone; C) simethicone; D) calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide

How can products that contain such different ingredients have the same brand name? Good question. A manufacturer with a proven, successful brand name will put it on every product possible because people recognize and buy brand name products. That explains why there are so many products named Benadryl®, Tylenol®, Bayer®, Anacin®, and on and on.

When buying OTC products, carefully read the label to be sure that you are buying the ingredients you want. Don't buy something just by the brand name. And ask your pharmacist for help if you need it.

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