Whether it’s similar packaging, names or even the spelling, Look Alike Sound Alike (LASA) medications create challenges for medical professionals. Unfortunately, confusion due to these similarities may lead to potentially harmful medication errors. Learn how you can improve drug safety in your practice, combat these common issues and minimize potential problems.  

Here are five common medication labeling challenges and how to prevent them from becoming a problem.

1. Medication Dispensing Workflow

Develop a routine for entering, filling, labeling and checking prescriptions. A consistent organized workflow will help you minimize errors.

Don’t multitask. Work with one drug product at a time. Affix the label to the container before moving on to the next task to help prevent mix ups.

2. Drug Labels That Look Alike

Changing a product’s name or appearance may prevent medication errors. Using Tall Man, or mixed case letters, has shown to reduce mistakes. Writing part of a medication name in uppercase letters will help distinguish look alike, sound alike medications. Caution labels also alert your staff to pay close attention to similar names.

3. Medications That Sound or Look Similar

Use additional warning labels for look-alike medicines. Warning labels should be uniform throughout the respective facility to facilitate identification. Provide auxiliary warning labels with exaggerated fonts or use other label enhancements. For example,

4. Drug Labels That Are Unreadable

Font size or style, lack of background contrast, designs that hide information, or overcrowded information often make a drug label unreadable.

There are a number of potential solutions. Colors have a big impact. The colors you choose for your labels will directly influence their readability. Similar shades of text and background colors make a label nearly impossible to read. Instead, increase the contrast between the text and background tones to make your labels instantly readable. If in doubt about the right color combination to pick for your labels, choose a white font with black border for high visibility on nearly all background colors.

5. Drug Dosage Devices That Are Difficult To Use

Devices, such as oral syringes, because of poor design or inadequate directions for use, can create potential dispensing challenges.

Fill line, syringe and dose labels, highlight key information to help ensure appropriate dispensing.

Click here to see all United Ad Label drug labels that aid communication and enhance patient safety. .