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Epanutin oral suspension shortage in the UK

13 Aug 2019

Update on 13 September 2019:

Epanutin oral suspension is back in stock.

Updated story 13 August 2019:

Epanutin oral suspension is still out of stock. It was hoped that it would be back in stock by now. Pfizer, the makers of Epanutin, are not yet able to provide a date when it is expected to be back in stock. If you have any concerns about this continuing shortage of Epanutin oral suspension, speak to your GP, epilepsy nurse or epilepsy specialist.

Original story 7 June 2019:

Pfizer, the makers of Epanutin (phenytoin), have told us there will be a temporary shortage of Epanutin 30mg/5ml oral suspension from the week beginning 10 June 2019. This is due to a manufacturing delay. Pfizer expect it will be out of stock until the end of July 2019.

The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) has sent an alert to healthcare professionals about this supply issue. They have asked GPs to make early contact with all their patients who are prescribed this medicine, to check if they have enough to last them until the end of July. If you don’t have enough supplies, you may wish to contact your GP now, rather than wait to hear from them.

While Epanutin oral suspension is out of stock, Pfizer will be importing a Canadian version of phenytoin oral suspension called Dilantin-30. The DHSC has advised GPs to switch patients who don’t have enough Epanutin oral suspension to Dilantin-30, until Epanutin is back in stock. Dilantin-30 contains the same active ingredient, and the DHSC says it can be considered equivalent to Epanutin. If you or your GP do not feel Dilantin-30 is appropriate for you, your GP should refer you to a specialist for advice.

You should not need any changes to your dose or frequency of your medicine when taking Dilantin-30. However, the Canadian patient information leaflet that comes with Dilantin-30 has different dosing information compared to the Epanutin leaflet. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking Dilantin-30, even if these are different from the dosing information on the leaflet.

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