Wales updates strategy to improve respiratory health

Wales updates strategy to improve respiratory health

January 22 2018 An updated respiratory health plan for Wales has been published, taking forward...

GPs urged to request blood test for patients with one or more symptoms of blood cancer

GPs urged to request blood test for patients with one or more symptoms of blood cancer

January 19 2018 A new parliamentary report is recommending that GPs should immediately request a...

Flu consultations increase 78% in a week

Flu consultations increase 78% in a week

January 15 2018 GPs saw over 21,700 cases of patients with influenza-like illness in the first...

New COPD pathway launched

New COPD pathway launched

January 12 2018 NHS RightCare has set out the core components of an optimal service for people...

MHRA warns of confusion over drug names and potential for errors

MHRA warns of confusion over drug names and potential for errors

January 11 2018 Healthcare professionals are being asked to be extra vigilant when prescribing or...

  • Wales updates strategy to improve respiratory health

    Wales updates strategy to improve respiratory health

    Monday, 22 January 2018 15:04
  • GPs urged to request blood test for patients with one or more symptoms of blood cancer

    GPs urged to request blood test for patients with one or more symptoms of blood cancer

    Friday, 19 January 2018 17:45
  • Flu consultations increase 78% in a week

    Flu consultations increase 78% in a week

    Monday, 15 January 2018 10:57
  • New COPD pathway launched

    New COPD pathway launched

    Friday, 12 January 2018 14:53
  • MHRA warns of confusion over drug names and potential for errors

    MHRA warns of confusion over drug names and potential for errors

    Thursday, 11 January 2018 12:40

a alert imageJanuary 10 2018

The medicines regulator has highlighted the different strengths of co-dydramol in its latest Drug Safety Update. 

For many years co-dydramol has been available at a fixed ratio of 1:50, combining dihydrocodeine 10mg and paracetamol 500mg. However, the MHRA’s latest DSU is advising that new strengths containing proportionately greater amounts of dihydrocodeine – co-dydramol 20/500 mg and co-dydramol 30/500 mg tablets – are becoming available.

Health professionals should take care to ensure the intended strength is clearly prescribed and the correct strength is dispensed. If the prescribed strength is unclear, the person dispensing should contact the prescriber for clarification, says the MHRA. It is also asking that health professionals “report suspected adverse drug reactions with opioids, including any harm from medication error, via the Yellow Card Scheme.”

The DSU newsletter of January 6 also asks health professionals to ask if a patient has been using herbal medicines when reporting any suspected adverse drug reaction. If herbal medicines or traditional Chinese medicines have been used, this information should be included on the Yellow Card scheme report.

Ideally, information about a herbal product should include the brand name, the list of ingredients, a copy of the package labelling if available, and any manufacturer details. Patients should also be advised to check for the Traditional Herbal Registration Certification Mark.

Another medicine included in the DSU newsletter is daclizumab (daclizumab beta), which is “now restricted to adults with relapsing multiple sclerosis who have had an inadequate response to at least two other disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) and for whom other DMTs are contraindicated or unsuitable.”

The MHRA is advising that patients with pre-existing hepatic disease or hepatic impairment should not use daclizumab. Before initiating treatment, patients should also be screened for hepatitis B and C viral infections. Treatment should also be closely monitored to check for any developing liver problems.

Initiation is not recommended in certain other circumstances: with raised aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels or in those with autoimmune conditions other than multiple sclerosis. Caution should also be taken in prescribing daclizumab “in patients receiving other medication that may be hepatotoxic, including over-the-counter products and herbal medicines.”

Links:
MHRA Drug Safety Update: monthly PDF newsletters        
MHRA Drug Safety Update: monthly PDF newsletter. January 6 2018. 11;6.                 
Co-dydramol DSU             
Herbal medicines DSU    
Daclizumab DSU                

Professional News

January 22 2018 An updated respiratory health plan for Wales has been published, taking forward the national strategy for the next three years.