Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Drug Safety Update - May 2010

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for May 2010 (PDF).

This issue contains drug safety advice in the following areas:

  • Possibility of an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension in the newborn of mothers receiving selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) in pregnancy
  • Increased risk of bone fractures in patients receiving SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • An interaction between carbapenem antibiotics and valproic acid that results in decreased blood levels of valproic acid
  • Reminder to prescribe oral tacrolimus by brand name to avoid medication errors as a result of brand swapping since the brand are not interchangeable
  • Warning about the increased risk of myopathy in patients receiving the highest licensed dose of simvastatin (80mg)

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

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