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August 2010, Volume 40 Number 8 , p 20 - 20


  • Michael R. Cohen ScD, MS, RPH


A pharmacist looking for answers about Alcon Steri-Units tetracaine 0.5% eye drops was surprised to find information on the package insert for atropine sulfate 1% solution. Thinking the package insert might have been accidentally switched, she tried another box of tetracaine and found the same insert. Later, she discovered the prescribing information for pilocarpine and tetracaine 0.5% solutions on the other side of the atropine insert.Apparently, all of the eye products packaged in Steri-Units share the same package insert, although this may be easily misunderstood. Someone might read the directions for atropine, for example, when looking for information about tetracaine.Although these ophthalmic solutions have been available for many years, they don't appear on the list of FDA-approved medications and package inserts may not meet current FDA standards. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has contacted the manufacturer and the FDA to express concerns. At

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