Patients should not have completed Prozac repeat prescriptions if they have had enough of the medicine to stay until November, the NHS has told general practitioners (stock image)

NHS doctors warned to limit Prozac's prescriptions because stocks of the antidepressant drug are running out of & # 39; due to manufacturing issues & # 39;

  • Patients with enough pills to last until November may no longer receive
  • There have been long-term supply problems with the drug, officials said
  • Prozac is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the UK

Doctors have been told to limit Prozac prescriptions amid a nationwide antidepressant deficiency.

The drug fluoxetine – commonly known under the brand name Prozac – is scarce due to production problems.

The health ministry wrote to all general practitioners last week that they should contact their patients who were taking the medicine to ask how many supplies they have at home.

The letter said that every patient with enough pills to last until November may not receive a new prescription, the magazine wrist reported.


For those patients who are likely to run out, general practitioners have been given a list of alternatives, including in some cases non-licensed 10 mg capsules from abroad.

Patients should not have completed Prozac repeat prescriptions if they have had enough of the medicine to stay until November, the NHS has told general practitioners (stock image)

Patients should not have completed Prozac repeat prescriptions if they have had enough of the medicine to stay until November, the NHS has told general practitioners (stock image)

Prozac is one of the most prescribed antidepressants and there were nearly seven million prescriptions in England last year.

The health ministry said there would be supply problems with some doses of fluoxetine capsules until early November.

In a letter of September 20 it was said: & # 39; Due to the long-term problems with fluoxetine 10 mg, 30 mg and 40 mg capsules, we recommend the following actions.

Huis General practitioners and prescribers should identify all patients currently prescribed fluoxetine 10 mg, 30 mg and 40 mg capsules.


& # 39; Early contact should be made with the patient or the patient's parent / caregiver to determine if the supplies will last at home until the beginning of November.


For some patients, a NHS deficiency in hormonal replacement therapy may take another 10 months, experts warn.

General practitioners and pharmacies revealed in August that they were struggling to supply many leading brands due to production shortages and supply problems.

Experts warned that some products used to reduce menopause symptoms may not be available again until mid-2020.

A supplier, Resource Medical, said he was struggling to find a manufacturer for the UK market, and added that he had recently decided not to renew his drug and drug license.


"The market is such that we are not sufficiently prescribed compared to the larger brands, such as Elleste (Mylan) and therefore waste more than half our stock," spokesman Zul Akram.

A shortage of the Themex products FemSeven Conti and Sequi is caused by quality problems with the glue that keeps the plasters on the skin.

It said it is unlikely that the products will be back in stock until next year and that it could not propose alternatives.

& # 39; If the patient has enough supplies to keep them until early November, no further action is required. These patients should not receive a repeat prescription during this period. & # 39;

However, GPs said they were concerned about the extra workload needed to contact all patients with the antidepressant.


Professor Azeem Majeed, head of primary care at Imperial College in London, told Pulse: “Contacting patients would be a lot of work for practices, since fluoxetine is a commonly prescribed drug.

& # 39; This illustrates how shortages of important medications, as well as stress for patients, also lead to additional work for practices and pharmacists at a time when they are already under heavy work pressure. & # 39;

In another letter that was sent the same day, GPs were also told that certain tablets of the hormone therapy drug Provera are out of stock until November 8.

The pills contain progesterone and are used to regulate menstruation and to treat breast, uterus and kidney cancer.

The Ministry of Health has instructed doctors to consider prescribing the unlicensed tablets as soon as possible to patients who cannot receive the pills.


It is the latest in a series of drug shortages, which have peaked in recent months due to a "perfect storm" of production and manufacturing problems.

The crisis has meant that more than half of the HST medicines are no longer in stock. Some women are forced to buy HST drugs from abroad because it is now almost impossible to get to Britain

The deliveries of blood pressure pills, painkillers and epilepsy treatments have all been affected in recent months.

It means that pharmacists have to send patients to their doctor regularly to get a different prescription because they cannot fill them.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Social Care said: & We are aware of a problem with fluoxetine capsules from two British manufacturers. However, supplies of alternative presentations of fluoxetine remain available from a number of manufacturers, including the Prozac brand.

& # 39; We have worked closely with NHS England and national experts and have issued advice on management options to the NHS to ensure that patients can be properly managed during this period. & # 39;

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