The manufacturer of Epanutin®, a brand of phenytoin, has written to healthcare professionals advising of a short term supply problem. Phenytoin is used in the treatment of epilepsy. A copy of the letter (PDF) has been made available by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.
The supply problem is affecting the 25mg, 50mg and 100mg strengths. The 25mg and 50mg strengths are expected to be back in stock by week ending 19th November 2010 with the 100mg strength expected week ending 26th November 2010 although stock imported from Greece is expected at the same time as the lower strengths.
It should be noted that phenytoin is also available in a 100mg tablet but a permanent change to this product would be expensive. The Drug Tariff currently lists 28 tablets at £30.00 compared to £2.83 for 84 capsules.
Action: Clinicians should be aware of this supply shortage. Interim prescriptions for alternative strengths or formulations may be necessary while the supply chain is restocked.