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Found 112 results
  1. News Article
    People carrying Emerade 500 microgram adrenaline auto-injector pens should return them and get hold of a prescription for a different brand. A fault has been detected in the pens, meaning the dose of adrenaline may not be delivered when needed for people with severe allergies. The official advice comes from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Alternative brands - EpiPen and Jext - are available up to 300 micrograms. "Action has been taken to protect patients, following detection of a fault in one component of the Emerade adrenaline auto-injector pens," an MHRA spokesperson said. "Patients should return all Emerade 500 microgram pens to their local pharmacy once they have a new prescription and have been supplied with pens of an alternative brand." If an Emerade pen does need to be used before a patient can get hold an alternative pen, the advice is that it should be pressed very firmly against the thigh. If this does not work, the patient should immediately use their second pen. Read full story Source: BBC News, 19 May 2020
  2. Content Article
    Actions for healthcare professionals All healthcare professionals in primary, secondary or specialist healthcare services who prescribe, supply or administer adrenaline auto-injectors, or who advise patients and their carers, should ensure that they: identify patients who have been supplied with Emerade 500 micrograms auto-injectors and ensure they are reviewed to determine whether their adrenaline auto-injector prescription is still appropriate and in line with existing guidance immediately inform patients and carers to request a new prescription to replace each Emerade 500 microgram auto-injector with one new 300 microgram adrenaline pen in an alternative brand. Healthcare professionals should be aware that the licensed dosing recommendations for each brand of pen are not identical. inform patients to return Emerade 500 microgram auto-injectors to the pharmacy, when they have obtained a total of two adrenaline 300 microgram auto-injectors in a different brand; although pens should be returned to a pharmacy once a replacement is obtained, this should not require someone who is self-isolating to leave their home during COVID-19. Pharmacies that receive Emerade 500 microgram auto-injectors from patients should quarantine the pens and return them to the supplier using the supplier’s approved process. Inform patients: that they should always carry two in-date auto-injectors with them at all times in case they need to administer a second dose of adrenaline before the arrival of the emergency services that they need to receive training, so they are confident in being able to use any new devices so that they know the signs of anaphylaxis and the actions they should immediately take and are aware that this recall also applies to Emerade 500 microgram auto-injectors that are in emergency anaphylaxis kits held by healthcare professionals, such as dental surgery kits etc. adrenaline ampoules, as opposed to auto-injectors, should be stocked when renewing the adrenaline in anaphylaxis kits (ensuring dosing charts, needles and syringes are included) are aware that this recall also applies to Emerade 500 microgram auto-injectors that are currently held by schools. Prescribers should issue no more than two adrenaline auto-injectors per patient (of any brand or strength) unless: schools require separate pens to be kept on the school premises (e.g. in a medical room) in which case prescribers may need to consider issuing more than two but no more than four pens per child (of any brand or strength). for the rare scenario where patients might need more than two adrenaline pens prescribed (for example, a prior severe reaction resistant to treatment with adrenaline), where the prescriber may issue additional pens. General Practitioners (GPs) should send the letter “Advice for patients who have been prescribed an Emerade 500 microgram auto-injector” on page 6 of the alert, to all patients and carers, as appropriate, who have been prescribed Emerade 500 micrograms auto-injectors.
  3. News Article
    The government is under pressure to go further on measures to relax rules on powerful painkillers such as morphine to prevent patients suffering “unnecessary pain and distress in the last days of their lives”. On Tuesday the health secretary, Matt Hancock, announced staff in care homes and hospices would be allowed to “re-use” controlled drugs such as morphine and midazolam, with medication prescribed for one patient used for another where there is an immediate need. But the Home Office today confirmed to The Independent that it had no plans to extend the rules to the care of patients in their own homes – a restriction experts and charities have warned could leave people suffering at the end of their lives. The government announced the changes following concerns over the supply of drugs. The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) welcomed the changes announced by Mr Hancock, calling them “a significant step forward”, but added: “This only applies to patients living in care home and hospice settings, so there is still work to be done to ensure patients living in their own homes have appropriate access to necessary medication in a timely way.” Last week the RCGP wrote to home secretary Priti Patel warning that people were suffering unnecessarily due to problems accessing drugs. Read full story Source: The Independent, 30 April 2020
  4. News Article
    UK medicines agencies have changed their advice on ibuprofen to say that the drug can be used to treat patients with symptoms of COVID-19, although the evidence that prompted the revision has not been made public. The change follows a review by the Commission on Human Medicines’ expert working group on COVID-19 which, along with previous reviews of evidence, concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and contracting or worsening of COVID-19. The group’s review has not been published, but prompted the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), NHS England, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to update their advice to say that patients can take paracetamol or ibuprofen for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever and headache. This is a change to NICE’s recommendation on 3 April that paracetamol should be used in preference to NSAIDs for managing fever in patients with suspected COVID-19 until more evidence is available. Read full story Source: BMJ, 17 April 2020
  5. News Article
    Doctors have been warned that crucial drugs used to help sedate and ventilate patients in intensive care are running out due to the demand caused by coronavirus. An alert to hospitals from NHS England today said there were “limited supplies” of muscle relaxant drugs atracurium, cisatracurium and rocuronium, which are used during intubation when patients are sedated and paralysed with a ventilator used to help them breathe. As a result of the shortages, and to help maintain supplies, NHS England said it would now manage existing supplies “centrally”. Its said supplies of atracurium and cisatracurium were likely to be exhausted in coming days, and hospitals would need to switch to alternatives that were still available. A critical care nurse working in ICU in the south of England told The Independent they were already using alternatives but that this had to be used at different concentrations and run for longer to achieve the same sedation. She said changes like this with staff overstretched could increase the likelihood of drug errors. Read full story Source: The Independent, 17 April 2020
  6. Content Article
    This web page offers numerous resource pages which include: drug monitoring medicines management during this crisis summary of drugs for COVID-19.
  7. News Article
    Scientists and senior doctors have backed claims by France’s health minister that people showing symptoms of COVID-19 should use paracetamol (acetaminophen) rather than ibuprofen, a drug they said might exacerbate the condition. The minister, Oliver Veran, tweeted on Saturday 14 March that people with suspected COVID-19 should avoid anti-inflammatory drugs. “Taking anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, cortisone . . .) could be an aggravating factor for the infection. If you have a fever, take paracetamol,” he said. Jean-Louis Montastruc, Professor of Medical and Clinical Pharmacology at the Central University Hospital in Toulouse, said that such deleterious effects from NSAIDS would not be a surprise given that since 2019, on the advice of the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products, French health workers have been told not to treat fever or infections with ibuprofen. Experts in the UK backed this sentiment. Paul Little, Professor of Primary Care Research at the University of Southampton, said that there was good evidence “that prolonged illness or the complications of respiratory infections may be more common when NSAIDs are used—both respiratory or septic complications and cardiovascular complications.” Read full story Source: BMJ, 17 March 2020
  8. News Article
    An 87-year-old woman died after her carers gave her the wrong medication, a coroner was told. Heather Planner, from Butler's Cross in Buckinghamshire, died at Wycombe Hospital on 1 April from a stroke. Senior coroner Crispin Butler heard three staff from Carewatch Mid Bucks had failed to spot tablets handed over by the pharmacy were for a male patient. Mr Butler said action should be taken to prevent similar deaths. A hearing in Beaconsfield on Thursday, where he issued a Prevention of Future Deaths report, followed an inquest in November. In the report he said he was told at the inquest that the carers from Carewatch Mid Bucks gave widow Mrs Planner the wrong medication four times a day for two and a half days. She suffered a fatal stroke because she did not receive her proper apixaban anticoagulation medication. Mr Butler said he would send his concerns to the chief coroner and the Care Quality Commission. He said there was no procedure in place to ensure individual carers read and specifically acknowledged any medication changes. Read full story Source: BBC News, 27 February 2020
  9. Content Article
    This study, published by Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, shows that in hospital outpatient clinics, prophylaxis accounted for a quarter of the antimicrobial prescriptions and had in general a good guideline-adherence rate, with the exception of unnecessarily prescribed post-surgical/intervention prophylaxis, whereas a substantial part of the therapeutic prescriptions were inappropriate. Amoxicillin-clavulanic acid was the most inappropriately prescribed antimicrobial agent, regarding non-adherence to the guideline and also regarding the lack of considering renal function for dosage adjustment. Altogether, it is believed that antimicrobials prescribed at the hospital outpatient clinics warrant ASP attention. The variation of the guideline adherence rate between the investigated hospitals, as well as the differences with prior studies addressing antibiotic use in ambulatory settings in general, emphasise that (hospital) outpatient antimicrobial use should be audited locally.
  10. Content Article
    Key recommendations All patients should be informed of the risks of general anaesthesia, including the possibility of AAGA, before their surgery. When consenting patients, practitioners should use a form of words that proportionately conveys the risks of AAGA. Consent for sedation should emphasise that the patient will be awake and therefore may have recall for at least parts of the procedure. Practitioners should identify certain situations or certain patient factors as constituting a higher risk for AAGA (including organisational factors such as overbooked or reorganised surgical lists) and highlight these at the WHO premeet/team brief. During induction of anaesthesia, practitioners should adhere to suitable dosing of intravenous agent, check anaesthetic effect before paralysis or instrumentation of the airway and maintain anaesthetic administration, including during transfer of patients (which is facilitated by a simple ABCDE checklist). If AAGA is suspected during maintenance (e.g., by patient movement), prompt attention should be paid to giving verbal reassurance to the patient, increasing analgesia, and deepening the level of anaesthesia. For cases requiring paralysis, the minimum dose of neuromuscular blocking drugs (NMBDs) that achieves sufficient neuromuscular blockade for surgery should be used, and the nerve stimulator is an essential monitor to titrate the dosing of NMBDs to this minimum. Where total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA) is used, practitioners should adhere to the relevant recently published guidelines. At emergence, practitioners should first confirm that surgery is complete, then ensure NMBDs are adequately reversed before allowing the patient to regain consciousness. Practitioners should then manage the patient experience, particularly during awake extubation, by speaking to the patient. Cases of AAGA should be managed using the NAP5 pathway as a guide.
  11. Content Article
    Issuing of controlled drugs within the operating department and key holding Ordering and transferring of drugs Unused controlled drugs Security requirements Disposal of controlled drugs.
  12. News Article
    Every pharmacist must report adverse drug reactions using the yellow card scheme, says chair of the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group, Janice Perkins Polypharmacy, when different medications are used by an individual at the same time, is becoming increasingly common because people are living for longer and with multiple different illnesses. One study, published in 2018 by the Oxford University Press, found that over half (54%) of those aged 65 years and above who took part in the study had two or more long-term conditions, for which they could have been taking a range of medicines. Read full story Source: Community Pharmacy News, 17 February 2020
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