Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines

Key Medicine Shortages – May 2021

Monthly Update

  1. Acetylcysteine 2g/10ml injection – there was a recent supply problem with the Martindale brand of this preparation, however, this has resolved and it is now available again. An imported unlicensed acetylcysteine 2g/10ml injection is also available - please note there are some differences in terms of its labelling and presentation to the licensed preparation.

    For further advice please refer to NHS GGC Medicines Information Memorandum (on StaffNet).

  2. Eplerenone 25mg and 50mg tablets – 50mg tablets may still be available and it is advisable in primary care to make enquiries at several pharmacies/wholesalers to try to source stock. Where a patient is unable to obtain eplerenone, prescribers may need to consider switching patients to spironolactone. Halving eplerenone 50mg tablets to get a 25mg dose is an unlicensed use and some brands are film coated – if this is considered, please consider the individual patient circumstances and brand available.

    For further advice please refer to NHS GGC Central Prescribing Memorandum (on StaffNet).

  3. Trimethoprim 50mg/5ml oral suspension – there have been primary care supply disruptions reported with this preparation.

    For further information please refer to NHSGGC Primary Care Shortages Database (on StaffNet) or contact


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 01/06/2021. Medicines Update blogs are correct at the time of publication.