- Prescribing Advice for GPs - https://www.prescriber.org.uk -

Drug Safety Update - April 2011

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for April 2011 (PDF).

This issue contains drug safety information advising stavudine (Zerit®) should be only used as a treatment for HIV infection when there are no appropriate alternatives, and for the shortest possible time. This is because of an increased risk of potentially severe adverse events as a result of mitochondrial toxicity. It is estimated that there are currently 160 patients in the UK using stavudine. These patients should be reviewed and switched to an appropriate alternative as soon as possible.

The hot topic section reminds clinicians of the need to monitor and manage weight, glucose and lipid levels in patients who are prescribed second generation (atypical) antipsychotics. These risk factors should be managed in line with the recommendations issued by NICE in order to reduce the risk of premature natural death.

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