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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Drug Safety Update - March 2022

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for March 2022 (PDF).

This issue reminds clinicians that amiodarone has been associated with serious and potentially life-threatening side effects, particularly of the lung, liver, and thyroid gland. It is recommended that patients on long-term amiodarone treatment are supervised and reviewed regularly during treatment. This should include liver and thyroid function tests before treatment, at 6-monthly intervals during treatment, and thyroid function should be monitored for several months after stopping treatment.

This issue also reports that a large study has shown no safety issues of concern relating to the use of metformin during pregnancy. The licence for metformin now reflects that it can be considered for use during pregnancy and the periconceptional phase as an addition or an alternative to insulin, if clinically needed.

This issue contains the latest COVID-19 vaccine and medicine information including a reminder about the UK COVID-19 Antivirals Pregnancy Registry and updated summaries of Yellow Card reporting.

Lastly in this issue is a summary of letters to healthcare professionals in February. These generally related to supply issues and recalls.

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

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