FDA Warns of Medication Error: Name Confusion Between Risperidone and Ropinirole

Medication error reports have the FDA warning providers about giving patients risperidone (Risperdal) when they should be receiving ropinirole (Requip) and vice versa.


In some cases, patients who took the wrong medication needed to be hospitalized.

The FDA said the factors contributing to the confusion between the two products include:

  • similarities of both the brand and generic names;
  • similarities of the container labels and carton packaging;
  • illegible handwriting on prescriptions; and
  • overlapping product characteristics, such as the drug strengths, dosage forms, and dosing intervals


Risperidone (Risperdal) is an antipsychotic medication used to treat mental illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autistic disorder. Ropinirole (Requip) is a dopamine agonist used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and Restless Legs Syndrome.


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Read the FDA MedWatch safety alert, including a link to the Drug Safety Communication, by clicking here.


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