News and updates from

Selected items from the News and Latest Additions sections of, the world’s leading palliative care website with over 30,000 members from 169 Countries.

Safety updates

MHRA alert: Denosumab

The UK MHRA has sent out two drug safety updates regarding denosumab use:

Note. This information is included in the new on-line PCF denosumab monograph, which will be available shortly.


FDA safety communication: OTC benzocaine products

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that over-the-counter (OTC) oral drug products containing benzocaine should not be used to treat children <2 years because of the rare but potentially life-threatening risk of methemoglobinemia versus the little/lack of benefit for teething/oral pain. For more information, click here.

Hot topics

Palliative care included in updated standards for HIV

The British HIV association has recently updated its standards of care for people living with HIV to include palliative care. For more information, click here.


Resources to support safer modification of food and drink

A resource patient safety alert has been issued to eliminate use of the imprecise term ‘soft diet’ and assist with the safe transition to the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) framework, which introduces standard terminology to describe texture modification for food and drink. For more information, click here.

Note. Information about swallowing capsules and tablets is included in the frequently asked questions section of the IDDSI website.

Drug updates

Diamorphine 5mg and 10mg injection shortage

Accord Pharmaceuticals has manufacturing difficulties with 5mg and 10mg diamorphine injection. The other UK supplier (Wockhardt) only has a small stock and is not expected to be able to keep up with the extra demand. Diamorphine 30mg, 100mg and 500mg are not affected. NHS organizations are strongly requested to order as normal and not to stockpile, as this will exacerbate the situation.


Danazol now contra-indicated with simvastatin

The UK SPC for danazol capsules now contra-indicates concurrent use with simvastatin because of the risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis from increased simvastatin levels. Although not specifically contra-indicated, the risk if also increased with other statins metabolized by cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme, e.g. atorvastatin, lovastatin. For more information, click here.


FDA approves cannabidiol oral solution

The US FDA has approved a cannabidiol (CBD) oral solution (Epidiolex) for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. This is the first approved product that contains purified CBD from the Cannabis sativa plant without the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) component. A marketing authorization application has been submitted to the European Medicines Agency for this product and indication, however it has not yet been authorized in the EU. For more information, click here.

Latest additions

Website privacy policy and terms and conditions updated

Due to the change in EU data protection law, we have updated the terms and conditions and privacy policy on our website. These can be found via the links at the bottom of every page and we ask that you take a moment to read them. You can view and update your personal information at any time by logging on to the website and clicking on the preferences button. Here, you can also amend opting in or out to receiving e-mails from us, in line with the terms and conditions of use of the website.

Privacy policy (updated May 2018)

Terms and conditions (updated May 2018)


PCF updated monographs summary (May and June 2018)

The on-line Palliative Care Formulary is being continually updated. The following monographs have been updated during May and June 2018 and supersede those in the print publication of the 6th edition of the Palliative Care Formulary (PCF6). They can be accessed from the formulary section of the website.

Chapter 04: Antihistaminic antimuscarinic anti-emetics (Full update May 2018, minor change June 2018), QCG: Nausea and vomiting (minor change), QCG: Inoperable bowel obstruction (minor change), QCG: Vertigo (minor change)

Chapter 05: Morphine (minor change)

Chapter 09: Ferrous sulfate (minor change), Vitamin K (previously phytomenadione).

Follow us on twitter @palliativedrugs for the latest updates.

Prepared by Sarah Charlesworth and Andrew Wilcock

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