Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines

Medicines Update

For all healthcare professionals across NHSGGC both in primary care and the acute sector.

Please note, Medicines Update blogs are correct at the time of publication.

Medicines Update blogs remain on the website for 4 years. If you would like a copy of a blog published more than 4 years ago, please contact

Click here for a promotional poster on Medicines Update and here for an animation on the Communications subcommittee of ADTC responsible for the development of Medicines Update.

If you would like to contribute to Medicines Update, click here for a guide to blog writing. When you email the committee to discuss writing a blog, you will be sent a checklist to complete prior to submitting the blog for review.

06/09/2023 announcement

Accessing GGC Clinical Guidelines via Medicines Update blogs and the Adult Therapeutics Handbook 

GGC Clinical Guidelines have migrated to the Right Decisions for Health and Care platform. As a result of the migration, direct links to GGC guidelines within Medicines Update blogs (and the Adult Therapeutics Handbook, GGC Medicines App) currently go to the homepage and not individual guidelines. This change was out with our control. 
Please note, there is a message on the homepage highlighting intermittent issues with the search function, therefore, if you cannot find a guideline via the search box, select the relevant category from the homepage or if the guideline still can't be found, contact
An update will be provided in due course.

Polypharmacy Review in Adults Living with Moderate to Severe Frailty - Use of Psychotropic Medications in Patients with Dementia

Posted: Friday, July 12, 2024

Category - Medicines Update

Key Messages

  • Non-pharmacological approaches should be used first-line to manage stress and distress in dementia.
  • Psychotropic medications carry the risk of side effects which may cause serious avoidable harms (e.g. falls, sedation, etc) and should be used as a last resort in the management of stress and distress - other causes should be ruled out including infection, constipation, and pain.
  • If required, the lowest effective dose of psychotropic medication should be prescribed for the shortest possible period with regular review.
  • For patients under Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) psychotropic medication changes should be made in collaboration with their CMHT.

Prescribing Cost Efficiency Initiative 2024/25

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2024

Category - Medicines Update

  • NHS Scotland spends £1.8 billion each year on medicines; £660 million of this total is within NHSGGC
  • In 2024/25, NHSGGC is expected to spend an additional £35 million on medicines in primary care, with no increase in funding from Scottish Government
  • If no action is taken to improve the efficiency of prescribing within NHSGGC, there will be an adverse impact on the provision of other health and care services
  • All prescribers within NHSGGC are asked to reflect on their prescribing practice to ensure that medicines prescribed are:
    • Evidence based
    • Cost-effective
    • Necessary for the patient