News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Prepulsid Alert

24 March 2000

Prepulsid Alert

Ministry of Health controls around the use of the medicine Prepulsid prevent it being prescribed to people most at risk of the drug's known side effects.

The Ministry's reassurance follows news that Janssen Pharmetic has agreed to stop distributing the medicine, used to treat severe gastro-intestinal conditions, after concerns about its safety.

Janssen's decision followed the Food and Drug Administration receiving 341 reports of heart rhythm abnormalities including 80 deaths associated with its use. Most of these side effects occurred in patients taking other medications or suffering from other medical conditions known to increase the risk of heart rhythm problems with cisapride.

It will continue to be available to Americans through doctors until July, and thereafter on the recommendation of gastro-enterologists.

New Zealand's Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring at Otago University has received 19 reports of Prepulsid side effects since 1991. None of these side effects resulted in death and only one case involved heart rhythm disturbance.

Between 100,000-150,000 New Zealanders use Prepulsid. Worldwide, 190 million patients have been prescribed Cisapride since it was first introduced in 1988.

Ministry spokesperson Dr Stewart Jessamine said that there were stricter controls on the prescription of Prepulsid (generic name Cisapride) in New Zealand, compared to its regulation in America.

In New Zealand a GP needs a specialist's recommendation before he can prescribe it to a patient. In America GPs have been able to prescribe it.

"The Ministry has also issued advice to ensure that GPs and specialists are aware of the possible side effects of Prepulsid should it be given to people with heart abnormalities or on particular medicines," Dr Jessamine said.

The advice warned against prescribing Prepulsid to people taking medications such as erythromycin, fluconazole, clarithromycin and amiodarone or other substances which can cause heart rhythm distrubance. It also said people predisposed to heart rhythm problems or with liver abnormalities.

Dr Jessamine said in light of the decision in America the Ministry would again review the safety of Prepulsid in conjunction with the Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee.

"In the interim we would like to assure patients that prescribers in New Zealand are aware of the need to avoid prescribing Prepulsid to groups most at risk from side effects.

"We would also like to stress that the situation that is occurring in America is not the case here, due to our tighter controls and the awareness of prescribers.

"However we will be seeking further information. In the interim we suggest patients taking Prepulsid to discuss with their doctor when their prescription is due for renewal if they have any risk factors and whether Prepulsid is the most appropriate medication for their condition," Dr Jessamine said.

ENDS

For further information contact; Sue McCabe, Media Advisor, 04 496 2167 or 025 495 989 Internet Address; http://www.moh.govt.nz/media.html


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

City Of 100 Lovers: Multi-Million Dollar NZ Theatre Production To Launch

Produced in New Zealand, the $8Million budget, musical comedy, City of 100 Lovers, has been created for locals and tourists alike. More>>

Indycars: Dixon Wins Fifth US Championship

The New Zealand motor racing driver Scott Dixon has won the US Indycar championship for the fifth time. Dixon finished second in the final race of the season in Sonoma in California. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: The Outsider Art of Tony Fomison

Among such gifted contemporaries as Bill Hammond, Tony de la Tour, and printmaker Jason Grieg, Fomison distinguished himself as highly idiosyncratic, and could have become wealthy, had not his demons prevented him from investing his income wisely. In his near monochrome oil painting on black hessian, he staked out a territory of morbid originality. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Immortal Love

The series has a wild-west tone with a steampunk vibe, so if you’re a fan of Joss Whedon’s Firefly or Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea, then chances are you’ll enjoy this book. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Trappings of Success - McQueen

This troubling documentary about the extraordinary life and untimely death of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen (1969 - 2010) is a cautionary tale of an extremely gifted, but self-destructive soul caught up in a business that chews up and spits out its creative talent. More>>

Anne Russell: On Nanette, And The Limitations Of Stories

Since many detractors fault Gadsby or other women for talking about their trauma publicly, Gadsby’s most ardent fans mistakenly perceive virtually any criticism of Nanette as misogynist. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland