Proper lighting needed for medication identification

Publication Date: 
Tue, 11/08/2011
By: Alere Staff

Lighting is essential for safe navigation around your house. You may sometimes lose sight how important good lighting can be.

There is a difference between generic warfarin and brand name Coumadin® or Jantovan® tablets which can be potentially life threatening, legible inscriptions on the tablet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed generic warfarin bioequivalent to brand Coumadin®. The manufacturers of generic warfarin have done a remarkable job matching the tablet colors for the nine strengths. Tablet identification is critical to patient safety. This has caused patients to rely more heavily on tablet color rather than the engraving on the tablet.

Generic warfarin requires the patient to rely predominantly on the color of the tablet. Certain light qualities or poor lighting conditions have resulted in patients taking the wrong strength of tablet. While efforts have been made to imprint the name on generic formulations–none have matched the clarity of the brand.

Patients are strongly recommended to double check the tablets they take or put into their pillboxes. Tablet engravings are often too small to see in poor lighting and colors are easily mistaken. Natural sunlight or a bright electric light should be used to ensure patients use the proper dose of warfarin.

COUMADIN® is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Company. Alere is not affiliated or associated with Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Company or the COUMADIN® trademark.