Dramatically different drugs with similar names can be a dangerous problem, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration alerted the public Wednesday regarding a wart-removing preparation that was confused with eyedrops.

The FDA said it received one report of serious injury when a pharmacist mistakenly gave an eye surgery patient Durasal, the salicylic acid-containing wart remover, instead of the prescribed Durezol eye drops. Durezol is approved for treatment of inflammation and pain associated with ocular surgery.

The FDA can order name changes to products before approving them, but Elorac Inc., the distributor of the wart preparation, sold it without FDA approval and has not responded to inquiries about removing the product from sale, the federal agency said.

A spokesman for Elorac, which is based in the Chicago area, could not be reached for comment.    - David Sell