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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Drug Safety Update - June 2021

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for June 2021 (PDF).

This month readers are advised of reports of interstitial lung disease and pneumonitis associated with use of CDK4/6 inhibitors (abemaciclib▼, palbociclib▼, ribociclib▼). Patients taking these medicines should be made aware of the need to seek advice right away if they develop new or worsening respiratory symptoms at clinic reviews. Patients on these medicines who present in primary care with respiratory symptoms should be managed cautiously and should be advised to make contact with their specialist.

Readers are also advised of the risk of severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs) including SJS and TEN associated with use of atezolizumab▼ (Tecentriq®) and other immune-stimulatory anti-cancer drugs. Patients on these drugs should be advised by their specialist to be vigilant for the signs of severe skin reactions and to seek urgent medical advice if they occur. In such cases continued treatment should be withheld, and patients referred to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

This issue also contains an update on COVID-19 vaccines and medicines that includes information on a newly licensed vaccine from Janssen and licence extension to younger age groups for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Finally in this issue is a summary of letters to healthcare professionals sent in May that were regarding product recalls.

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

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