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FDA warns about Avycaz dosing errors

FDA is warning health care professionals about the risk for dosing errors with the intravenous antibacterial drug Avycaz (ceftazidime and avibactam) due to confusion about the drug strength displayed on the vial and carton labels.

Avycaz was initially approved with the vial and carton labels displaying the individual strengths of the two active ingredients (i.e., 2 gram/0.5 gram); however, the product is dosed based on the sum of the active ingredients (i.e., 2.5 gram). To prevent medication errors, FDA revised the labels to indicate that each vial contains Avycaz 2.5 gram, equivalent to ceftazidime 2 gram and avibactam 0.5 gram.

FDA says that, since Avycaz’s approval in February 2015, it received reports of three medication error cases related to confusion on how the strength was displayed on the Avycaz vial and carton labels. Two cases stated that the errors occurred during preparation of the dose in the pharmacy. The third case described concern about the potential for confusion because the strength displayed for Avycaz differs from how the strength is displayed for other beta-lactam/beta-lactamase drugs. Based on the information provided in the reports, FDA  says it is aware that at least one of the patients received a higher-than-intended dose of Avycaz. FDA notes that no adverse events were reported.

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