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Rx Errors Up With Generic Propranolol for Hemangioma

FRIDAY, April 28, 2017 -- Physicians prescribing propranolol in a single concentration of 4.28 mg/mL for infantile hemangioma (IH) report fewer prescribing errors than those prescribing generic propranolol, according to a research letter published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Anastasia O. Kurta, D.O., from Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and colleagues examined prescriber experience with pharmacy dispensing errors and dose calculation errors associated with generic formulations and propranolol 4.28 mg/mL. A total of 220 physicians responded to the survey, of whom 70 percent were pediatric dermatologists.

The researchers found that 90 percent of respondents reported prescribing generic propranolol and 58.6 percent reported prescribing propranolol 4.28 mg/mL. Eighteen percent of physicians reported at least one dispensing error associated with generic propranolol. Thirty percent of prescribers of generic propranolol experienced one or more dose calculation errors, made personally or by an assistant. A similar statistically significant error was reported by only 11 percent of clinicians who prescribed propranolol 4.28 mg/mL. Comparable results were reported for a subset of pediatric dermatologists. The proportion reporting one or more dose calculation errors with generic propranolol and propranolol 4.28 mg/mL was 31 and 10 percent, respectively, among prescribers with experience writing 10 to 100 prescriptions for the drug.

"If the generic formulation of propranolol is prescribed, it is important to educate caregivers to check that the label is marked with the appropriate concentration," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals Inc., which provided a donation for each completed survey to Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance.

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Posted: April 2017