Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines

Key Medicine Shortages – February 2021

Monthly Update

1. Phyllocontin® (aminophylline) – Continus 225mg and Forte Continus 350mg modified-release tablets are being discontinued in the UK. Limited supplies remain available of both strengths, however, these are expected to be exhausted by late March 2021 for 225mg strength tablets, and early April 2021 for 350mg strength tablets. Prescribers are advised to review all affected patients and optimise inhaled therapies. Those patients who still require methylxanthine will need to be switched to theophylline tablets (Uniphyllin Continus®).

For further advice (including switching to theophylline and monitoring requirements) please refer to the Medicine Supply Alert Notice (on StaffNet) 

2. Eplerenone – limited supplies are available of 25mg and 50mg tablets. Some manufacturers have advised eplerenone may be available again as early as end of February 2021, however, this is not guaranteed. The branded product, Inspra®, currently remains available.

For further advice on prescribing, please refer to NHS GGC Formulary entry for potassium-sparing diuretics and aldosterone antagonists.


Why do medicine shortages occur?
Medicine shortages occur for a variety of reasons, including difficulties sourcing raw materials, product recalls for safety reasons, changes to licence holder, and changes to pack sizes.
It is vitally important that medicine shortages are monitored and appropriate actions taken, to minimise impact on patient care.

Where can I find further advice and information on medicine supply problems and shortages?
For the most up-to-date advice and information please refer to Current Medicine Supply Problems and Shortages page on StaffNet.

Published 02/03/2021. Medicines Update blogs are correct at the time of publication.