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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Drug Safety Update - May 2012

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for May 2012 (PDF).

This update contains drug safety information regarding an association between domperidone and an increased risk of serious ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. Caution is advised in patients with existing prolongation of cardiac conduction intervals. The risk also seems to be higher in individuals over the age of 60 and in those taking more than 30mg daily. It is advised that the lowest effective dose is used where necessary.

The drug safety section also draws attention to the new contraindications for strontium relating to venous thromboembolism (VTE) and serious skin reactions.

The hot topic section draws attention to a national initiative to reduce antipsychotic prescribing to older people with dementia. Recent prescribing data indicates a fall in prescribing since 2007 but further work is needed to achieve aspirational targets.

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

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