FDA: Name confusion could cause mix-up of two breast cancer drugs

The FDA notified health care professionals that the use of incorrect generic name for Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine; Genentech) in some medication-related electronic systems poses a risk of medication error with Herceptin (trastuzumab; Genentech). Kadcyla and Herceptin are both human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2) inhibitors indicated for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

Some third-party publications, compendia references, health information systems, and internet sites have been incorrectly using Kadcyla's United States Adopted Name (USAN) as "trastuzumab emtansine," and omitting the "ado-" prefix. This truncated version of Kadcyla's generic name may cause confusion with Herceptin (trastuzumab).

Due to the significant differences in dosing and treatment schedules for Kadcyla and Herceptin, a mix-up of these products could lead to dosing errors and potential harm to patients. So far, no medication errors related to confusion between Kadcyla and Herceptin have been reported to FDA since the approval of Kadcyla (Feb 2013). However, medication errors did occur during its safety and efficacy trials prior to approval.

The FDA recommends that health care professionals use both the FDA-approved brand and generic name when communicating medication orders, on preprinted order sets, and in computerized order entry systems.

For more information visit the FDA Safety Alerts website.

Loading links....
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs