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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Drug Safety Update - July 2018

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for July 2018 (PDF).

This issue advises of the risk of airway obstruction from aspiration of loose objects when using pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDI). There have been 22 reports in the UK of accidental inhalation of the mouthpiece cover or objects that have become trapped in the inhaler since 1987 with a further 36 cases reported outside of the UK. It is suggested that patients using pMDI inhalers are advised to:

  • store the inhaler with the mouthpiece cover correctly in place
  • remove the mouthpiece fully before using the inhaler
  • shake the inhaler to remove loose objects that may not be visible before use
  • check the inside and outside of the mouthpiece are clear before inhaling a dose
  • not use damaged inhalers

Yellow Cards should be submitted to report adverse incidents during use of inhalers and are also invited in this issue for suspected adverse reactions associated with medicines taken during pregnancy experienced by women or the baby or child.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this month's new guidance and implement any necessary changes to practice.

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