Category Archives: Memos and Alerts

Morphine Injections Supply Problems

Currently, there are national supply issues with Morphine Injections, predominately 10mg/ml amps but other strengths may be in short supply.

Practices should continue prescribing morphine injection first line in palliative care but contact community pharmacies at the point of writing the prescription to ascertain stock levels so the prescription can be written for the available strength of amp and correct dose. Do not use morphine if the 10mg, 15mg, 20mg and 30mg ampoules are not available.

Prescribe short duration prescriptions of morphine (no more than 5/7 days) in order to ensure we can maintain supplies to all patients in need.

Please ensure that all prescriptions and administration dosages are double checked by GP practices, Community Pharmacists and Community Nursing to reduce the risk of prescribing and administrative errors and that this is clearly communicated to patients and carers.

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NICE Bites: Parkinson’s Disease

NICE Bites No 99 July/August 2017 from North West Medicines Information Centre includes one topic: Parkinson’s disease in adults.  It includes the following sections: Assessment and diagnosis, information and support, treatment and management, motor symptoms, non-motor symptoms, adverse effects, palliative care.

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Controlled Drugs: Learning from Incidents Issue 8

Issue 8 of the bulletin: Controlled Drugs: Learning from Incidents, produced by NECS on behalf of NHS England is now available.

Issue 8 covers:
• Reporting incidents
• Post-dated CD prescriptions dispensed too early
• Patients with protected addresses
• Midazolam injection for palliative care
• What can happen when things go wrong when prescribing for chronic pain

Corticosteroids: rare risk of central serous chorioretinopathy with local as well as systemic administration

The MHRA have issued information on central serous chorioretinopathy, a retinal disorder that has been linked to the systemic use of corticosteroids. Recently, it has also been reported after local administration of corticosteroids via inhaled and intranasal, epidural, intra-articular, topical dermal, and periocular routes.

Healthcare professionals should advise patients to report any blurred vision or other visual disturbances during corticosteroid treatment and consider referral to an ophthalmologist for evaluation of possible causes if a patient presents with vision problems.