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Safety Tips to Prevent Look-Alike Sound-Alike (LASA) Medication Errors

These safety tips are available in print-ready brochures in EnglishSpanish, Russian and Chinese.

There are over 38 LASA Eye and Ear drug pair names that have been associated with Medication Errors resulting from patients taking medications incorrectly at home.

Examples of Look-Alike products:

LASA Eye and Ear Medication Example 1

LASA Eye and Ear Medication Example 2

Examples of Sound-Alike drug pair names:

Gentamicin > Tobramycin

Betoptic® > Timoptic®

Ciprodex® > Tobradex®

Ocuflox® > Floxin Otic®

Cortisporin® > Neosporin®

Cosopt® > Trusopt®

Timoptic® > Viroptic®

Tobradex® > Tobrex®

NYEE is a participating member of the American Association of Eye and Ear Centers of Excellence (AAEECE) Worldwide Patient Safety Initiative to Address LASA Eye and Ear Medication Errors. Learn more about NYEE's LASA Eye and Ear Medication Errors Initiative.

Top 10 List: Safety Tips To Prevent LASA Errors

  1. Be aware that Look-Alike Sound-Alike (LASA) drug names and products exist and may be responsible for potential medication errors.

  1. Do not store LASA drugs next to each other in your home.  Place on different shelves or cabinets.

  1. Know the reason why you are taking each medication. Keep a list. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist to write it down for you.

  1. If you use visual aids, such as glasses or contact lenses, be sure to wear them while reading your prescription label or drug bottle in a well-lit room.

  1. Never exchange the colored caps of your eye and ear medicine or switch manufacturer boxes as this may lead to the administration of the wrong medication and serious side effects.

  1. Take your time when administering your eye or ear drops. Remember what you have been told by your doctor or pharmacist before taking your meds. If you have forgotten their instructions, call them up again.

  1. Wash your hands before and after using your eye drops or ear drops.

  1. Give time for each eye or ear drop to be absorbed completely as instructed.  Do not use more drops than instructed by your prescription; otherwise the drops will not be absorbed properly and you may cause additional side effects of the drug.

  1. Know when your medication(s) expire(s). If it is not on the prescription or you cannot read it, ask your pharmacist to write it down with large print so you can read it easily.

  1. Throw out ALL expired medications and medications that you are NOT presently taking as per your doctor’s instructions. This will minimize your risk of taking any expired or wrong medications.

Contact Us

Department of Pharmacy ServicesTel: (212) 979-4378Fax: (212) 353-5915

AddressNew York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai
310 East 14th Street
New York, NY 10003

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