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Drug advice

BNF revises domperidone advice and introduces new monoclonal antibody

Molecular structure of domperidone, one of the drugs highlighted in the latest update of the British National Formulary (BNF)

Source: Molekuul / Science Photo Library

The use of domperidone (pictured) in children has been highlighted in the latest update of the British National Formulary (BNF)

Children and their carers who use domperidone for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) should be told how to recognise symptoms of arrhythmia and seek medical advice if palpitations develop, according to the latest update from the British National Formulary (BNF). 

The use of domperidone for GORD in children is highlighted in its October 2014 update after domperidone was recently restricted by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Committee on Safety of Medicines because of a small increased risk of serious cardiac side-effects. 

The BNF update also introduces siltuximab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits interleukin-6 receptor binding. The drug, added to BNF section 8.2.4 (other immunomodulating drugs), is licensed for the treatment of patients with multicentric Castleman’s disease who are HIV positive and who have not been exposed to human herpes virus 8. 

The BNF update also draws attention to new information about levothyroxine. Both the BNF and the BNFC now advise that, in order to maximize the drug’s absorption, should be taken at least 30 minutes before food, drinks containing caffeine and other medicines.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066915

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