Acetazolamide SR 250mg capsules will remain out of pharmacy shelves until May 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) has said in its latest medicine supply notification on Monday (Feb 8).

However, Acetazolamide immediate release 250mg tablets will remain available and can support a steep rise in demand. Target Healthcare has confirmed the availability of unlicensed acetazolamide SR 250mg capsules.

“Where prescribing of an unlicensed import is considered appropriate by the prescriber, a prescription must be issued with the wording ‘Special Order’ next to the prescribed product to ensure that a pharmacy can dispense and be correctly reimbursed for a special,” the Pharmacy Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said.

There are dm+d ‘Special Order’ listings for several different strengths of the oral suspension including the 250mg/5ml strength which is listed in Part VIIIB of the Drug Tariff.

“However, currently, there is no dm+d listing for the unlicensed Acetazolamide 250mg SR capsules for prescribers to select using their prescribing systems. If  a prescriber wishes to prescribe the imported capsules, a paper prescription should be issued for ‘Acetazolamide 250mg SR capsules (Special Order)‘ and endorsed by the pharmacy as a non-Part VIIIB special,” the PSNC added.

The DH has issued yet another medicine supply notification for Fluoxetine 40mg capsules.

The drug will remain out of stock until the end of March 2021. However, Fluoxetine 20mg capsules remain available and can support any increase in demand.

Advanz is the sole supplier of the antidepressant.

Levothyroxine 12.5microgram tablets will also remain out of stock until early March 2021.

Levothyroxine 25microgram tablets remain available and can support a steep rise in demand.

UKMi have advised that levothyroxine tablets have a long half-life and clinicians should consider prescribing one levothyroxine 25microgram tablet on alternate days until levothyroxine 12.5microgram tablets become available.

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