Confusing Levo and Neo

  1. I have been an ICU nurse for a few years now, and cannot keep Levo and Neo straight. We use them both a lot, and I keep thinking Levo is phenyl and that Neo is Norepi. I mean I understand the difference in the 2, but in an emergency, when someone orders Levo, I cannot remember if that is Norepi or Phenyl. I feel stupid for having to look it up every time but cannot keep the Levo/Neo/Phenyl/Norepi thing straight. I was wondering if anyone had any tricks to keep them straight in my mind. Thank you very much.
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    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 2; Likes: 1


  3. by   All4NursingRN
    I'd love to know too. i often confuse them as well. let me see

    levophed= norepinephrine

    Neosynephrine= phenylephrine

    ok so now that we know that errr,,,

    sorry i got nothin
  4. by   Sun0408
    Make you a small cheat sheet and attach it to your badge with both names, min and max doses so in a hurry you have it on you

    I have one for my code drugs on one side and the other side I have the top meds and doses for hypo and hypertension tx.. Talk about a quick reference..
  5. by   ckh23
    I had a nice little cheat card that was made up in excel. It listed pressors, both generic and trade, dosing and min and max.

    Neosynepherine and phenylepherine both have a "y" in it, so that might something you can use to remember.
  6. by   tokebi
    I'm not familiar with these drugs as I'm a new grad, but did some digging around and got some ideas. I'll be getting into some biochemistry so if this confuses you even more, just ignore this post.

    Both norepinephrine and phenylephrine are structurally very similar. You know epinephrine and norepinephrine are biologically occurring hormones. More specifically, norepinephrine is made naturally in the body from an amino acid (tyrosine). On the other hand, phenylephrine is not a naturally-occurring substance but artificially synthesized from benzene. In my head, "Neo-synephrine" almost sounds like "newly-synthesized."

    So, I'll remember that Levophed=norepinephrine, which is natural. Then, the other one, phenylephrine is the artificial one and therefore, Neo-synephrine.
  7. by   iluvivt
    I know this may seem odd to some But I combine the words or make up a words to remember things

    So for Levophed and norepinephrine...think of Levonor or levonorepi...I like levonorepi it kind of has a ring to it

    and for Neosynephrine and phenylephrine..think of neophen...or a similar such as neophyte
  8. by   tri-rn
    How about remembering that the N's DON'T go together? IE Norepi is Not Neo?

    ETA: I constantly confuse brand names with USP names. I still can't keep Ativan/lorazepam Versed/midazolam straight in my brain....luckily for me, our computers only work in USP names

    Another trick is I'll it read it back in the USP name to verify...if an MD says to "Give xmg versed IVP now" I'll say "2 mg midazolam IVP now, is that correct?" I guess this could be a problem in an urgent or emergent situation though, or anytime the doc is paying attention to 6 things at once and doesn't really "hear" you.
    Last edit by tri-rn on Sep 4, '12