Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Drug Safety Update - December 2010

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

This issue contains drug safety advice updating clinicians on the potential risk of arrhythmia with saquinavir. This drug can prolong the QT and PR interval and as an additional precaution it is now recommended to use a reduced dose for the first week of treatment.

The stop press section informs readers that the European Medicines Agency has recently completed a review of the safety and efficacy of fibrates. This review concluded that the benefits of treatment with these drugs continue to outweigh the risks but that these drugs should not be used as first line therapies except in patients with severe hypertriglyceridaemia or those who cannot take statins.

Finally, this issue contains an end of year drug safety quiz that will test your knowledge of drug safety information and may be useful in demonstrating participation in continuing professional development.

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

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