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Drug Safety Update - September 2008

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for September 2008 (PDF).

This issue includes the following drug safety advice article regarding serious and fatal overdose from dosing errors, accidental exposure, and inappropriate use with fentanyl patches. It is recommended that patients are advised about correct dosing and recognition of side effects. Fentanyl should only be prescribed to patients who are known to be opioid tolerant and who have stable pain.

In addition, this issue contains a hot topic about the introduction of human papillomavirus immunisation in the UK and a yellow card update that encourages reporting of adverse reactions that may be related to vaccinations. Reporters are asked to details of the suspected reaction and include information about the brand and batch number of the suspected vaccine.

Action: Clinicians will find this publication to be a useful review of current issues in drug safety.