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News and updates from palliativedrugs.com
  1. Andrew Wilcock1 and
  2. Sarah Charlesworth2
  1. 1Palliative Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Hayward House Study Centre, palliative.drugs.com, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Andrew Wilcock, Palliative Medicine, University of Nottingham, Hayward House, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK; andrew.wilcock{at}nottingham.ac.uk

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www.palliativedrugs.com has provided essential independent information about drugs used in palliative and hospice care for over a decade. It contains the on-line Palliative Care Formulary, and provides free access to a Bulletin Board to stimulate questions and share experiences, a Document Library containing 450 items of useful information and a Syringe Driver Survey Database containing details of over 2000 different drug combinations. Territory-specific book versions (the UK Palliative Care Formulary 4th edition, Hospice and Palliative Care Formulary USA 2nd edition and Palliative Care Formulary Canadian edition) can also be purchased via the website. This feature provides a selection of items which have featured in the News and Latest Additions sections in recent months; for additional information please register for free on the website.

Safety updates

Beline herbal supplement

Following several reports of adverse reactions, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning advising people not to take the illegal ‘herbal’ supplement Beline capsules. Despite herbal claims, analysis reveals that the supplement contains chlorphenamine, oxetacaine, piroxicam and betamethasone.

NSAIDs and the risk of heart problems

The UK MHRA has commented on the recent international review which reports that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke by one-third. MHRA states that the findings are not new; an increased risk of heart attack or stroke with some NSAIDs has been well recognised for some years, particularly with long-term use of high doses and in patients already at high risk. However, for most patients the risks of undesirable effects are outweighed by the benefits of treatment. MHRA states that to minimise risk, its advice remains that all NSAIDs should be used for the shortest time and at the lowest dose necessary to control symptoms. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has since announced that it is to review the latest available …

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