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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

CKS Updates - May 2022

During May 2022 Clinical Knowledge Summaries were published or updated in the following areas.

All of these topics have been reviewed and updated in keeping with current guidance with minor layout changes. The Eczema - atopic topic now includes a prescribing information section for topical calcineurin inhibitors and the supporting evidence now incorporates the latest literature. The Headache - cluster topic now includes expanded prescribing information for the use of sumatriptan and zolmitriptan preparations for acute treatment of cluster headache. And the Irritable bowel syndrome topic recommendations on the diagnosis and management of irritable bowel syndrome have been updated in line with guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the British Society of Gastroenterology.

Action: Clinicians who see patients with any of these conditions may find the new and updated information useful when reviewing current clinical practice.

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NICE Guidance - May 2022

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published new or updated guidance for the month of May 2022. This month there is one guideline and one medical technologies guidance that impact upon primary care.

The Vaccine uptake in the general population guideline has been published. It aims to increase the uptake of all vaccines provided on the NHS routine UK immunisation schedule by everyone who is eligible.

The Sleepio to treat insomnia and insomnia symptoms medical technologies guidance has been published. Sleepio is is a self-help sleep improvement programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia. It is recommended as a cost saving option for treating insomnia and insomnia symptoms in primary care for people who would otherwise be offered sleep hygiene or sleeping pills. A medical assessment is recommended before referral for people who may be at higher risk of other sleep disorder conditions.

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

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Prescription Charges for 2022

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that NHS prescription charges will be frozen for the first time in 12 years to help with the cost of living.

Charges for prescriptions will remain at £9.35 for a single charge or £30.25 for a 3-month prescription prepayment certificate (PPCs). 12 month PPCs will remain at £108.10 and can be paid for in instalments, meaning people can get all the medicines they need for just over £2 a week.

The prescription freeze will also apply to NHS wigs and fabric supports. The current exemption categories remain unchanged and the NHS Low Income scheme remains in place.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of the current prescription charge and also the value for money represented by pre-payment certificates.

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CKS Updates - April 2022

During April 2022 Clinical Knowledge Summaries were published or updated in the following areas.

All of these topics have been reviewed and updated in keeping with current guidance with minor layout changes. The Headache - tension-type topic has been updated with recommendations on management in primary care to include the option of physiotherapy, regular exercise, cognitive behavioural therapy, and/or relaxation techniques for some people. Also, the QIPP section on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has been removed. The Trigeminal neuralgia topic has been updated with the addition of a differential diagnosis section, minor changes based on drug literature and an update to the supporting evidence for the topic.

Action: Clinicians who see patients with any of these conditions may find the new and updated information useful when reviewing current clinical practice.

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NICE Guidance - April 2022

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published new or updated guidance for the month of April 2022. This month there are two guidelines that impact upon primary care.

The Epilepsies in children, young people and adults guideline has been published. It covers diagnosing and managing epilepsy in children, young people and adults in primary and secondary care, and referral to tertiary services. It aims to improve diagnosis and treatment for different seizure types and epilepsy syndromes, and reduce the risks for people with epilepsy.

The Medicines associated with dependence or withdrawal symptoms: safe prescribing and withdrawal management for adults guideline has been published. It covers general principles for prescribing and managing withdrawal from opioids, benzodiazepines, gabapentinoids, Z‑drugs and antidepressants in primary and secondary care.

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

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