The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for March 2019 (PDF).
This issue advises clinicians of new restrictions and precautions for use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. This is due to due to very rare reports of disabling and potentially long-lasting or irreversible side effects. Following an EU wide review it is now recommended that these antibiotics are not used for mild to moderate infections unless other antibiotics that are commonly recommended for these infections are considered inappropriate.
This issue also contains new guidance on effective contraception and pregnancy testing during use of teratogenic medication. This guidance notes that effective or highly effective contraceptives methods are defined by the typical failure rate in the first year with highly effective methods defined as a failure rate of less than 1%. This includes male and female sterilisation and long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods. A table is linked in this section that is useful in determining if pregnancy testing should be performed and categorises the efficacy of different methods of contraception.
Action: Clinicians should be aware of this month's new guidance and implement any necessary changes to practice.