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Friday, 17 February 2012

New guide to safe antidepressant prescribing - has no input from FIDDAMAN

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine has approved a new Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) learning module on the safe prescribing of antidepressants.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) form the most widely prescribed class of antidepressants in the UK. The module identifies the most important hazards of SSRIs and informs on actions that health professionals should take in order to minimise and manage the risks.

The MHRA recommends the training module for the medical, nursing and pharmaceutical professions. It is suitable for those nearing the end of their formal training or those who have recently completed such training. The MHRA indicates that health professionals may find the module a helpful refresher, for example, at the start of a posting in clinical psychiatry.

It examines the common adverse effects as well as rare but serious risks and side effects of SSRIs, use in pregnancy and breastfeeding and how to protect against and manage overdose and shows how the risks can be minimised and managed.

The MHRA says completing the module will take about two hours; answering the self-assessment questions will take about 30 minutes and the module has CPD credits with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians.

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