List of Confused Drug Names

ISMP's List of Confused Drug Names contains look-alike and sound-alike (LASA) name pairs of medications that have been published in the ISMP Medication Safety Alert!® Acute Care, the ISMP Medication Safety Alert!® Community/Ambulatory Care, and the FDA and ISMP Lists of Look-Alike Drug Names with Recommended Tall Man Letters.  

Use this list to determine which medications require special safeguards to reduce the risk of errors and minimize harm. This may include strategies such as:

  • Using both the brand and generic names on prescriptions and labels
  • Including the purpose of the medication on prescriptions
  • Configuring computer systems to require a minimum of the first five letters of a drug name during product searches
  • Changing the appearance of look-alike product names to draw attention to their differences

Both the FDA-approved and the ISMP-recommended tall man (mixed case) letters have been included in this list.

How to cite: Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). ISMP List of Confused Drug Names. ISMP; 2023.

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This list includes abbreviations, symbols, and dose designations that have been frequently misinterpreted and involved in harmful or potentially harmful medication errors.