Views & Reviews Drug Tales and Other Stories


BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 07 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1536
  1. Robin Ferner, director, West Midlands Centre for Adverse Drug Reactions, Birmingham City Hospital, Birmingham B18 7QH, UK
  1. R.E.Ferner{at}

While every pea sea has a spell checker, it cannot separate the Siamese stance from the orthographic errors or, at least, it can’t tell the Thai pose from the typos; nor can it separate Miss Prince from misprints, and we are left guessing. In analyses of drug errors, lookalike names and soundalike names cause confusion.1 Prescriptions for rabeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor, are confused with those for aripiprazole, an antipsychotic drug. The dopamine agonist ropinirole, used to treat Parkinson’s disease, is sometimes confused with the antipsychotic drug risperidone, which can cause …

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