In the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen quite a few errors since Toprol XL has gone generic. Usually it’s because prescribers are writing “Metoprolol Succ Xmg” (Or some repetitive bastardization thereof compliments of your friendly EMR which formats prescriptions in bizarre ways.)
Most of the people doing data entry are not pharmacists. They are technicians. And when they see “metoprolol” they immediately pick generic Lopressor, because that is what they are accustomed to. They don’t know that there’s a difference between succinate and tartrate, and if they do know there’s a difference, they don’t know what it means. Most of the time, if this error is made, it is caught by the checking pharmacist. But due to the sheer volume of Toprol scripts dispensed every day, some still slip through the cracks.
I know it’s fun to start writing generic names when generics become available. When Zestril went generic, you all started writing lisinopril. Same for gabapentin and every other generic drug on the planet, I’m sure.
But please don’t do this with Toprol. We’re all on the same team, here, and the goal is to minimize errors regardless of who is technically at fault. And I can guarantee that it will minimize prescribing errors when those refill requests start coming in, and your office staff start leaving incorrect or incomplete voicemails, because they got it wrong, too. ;)