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Drug Safety Update - October 2020

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for October 2020 (PDF).

This month readers are advised of new guidance that has been published on monitoring of patients on warfarin and other anticoagulants during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular it is noted that acute illness may exaggerate the effect of warfarin and necessitate a dose reduction. Patients taking anticoagulants should be encouraged to report if they have symptoms of, or confirmed, COVID-19 infection to allow more careful monitoring of INR and bleed risk.

This issue also highlights that it is Medicines Safety Week from the 2nd until the 8th November 2020. The week long event will promote social media activity (#MedSafetyWeek) and discussion with colleagues and patients to highlight the importance of reporting suspected adverse drug reactions. Clinicians are encouraged to remain vigilant for suspected adverse drug reactions and report them.

The summary of letters to healthcare professionals were generally regarding product recalls or supply disruptions.

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