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MHRA announce recall of brain tumour drug

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has recalled batches of brain cancer treatment Temozolomide Hospira

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced a patient-level recall of certain batches of Temozolomide Hospira, used in the treatment of brain cancer.

The announcement was made in a Drug Alert sent by the MHRA to healthcare professionals which described "reports of broken capsules and leakage" as the reason for the recall.

The alert advised pharmacists and clinics to contact patients taking the medication to warn against the opening of any unsealed packets of the drug, as well as to provide guidance on returning any packets of the product in use.

Advice on handling affected packets was provided by the MHRA: "If external contamination of the containers is suspected, handle whilst wearing latex or nitrile gloves. Place the container in a polyethylene bag and seal prior to return."

Skin and eye contact with the capsule contents is also advised against, with medical advice to be sought if irritation persists.

Pharmacists should place any remaining stock from the affected batches in quarantine to be packaged and returned to the manufacturer Hospira for credit.

Healthcare professionals are to advise the use of suitable alternative products for patients who are currently prescribed Temozolomide Hospira.

Temozolomide Hospira is a generic version of Merck's Temodal and is recommended for use in newly diagnosed specific form of brain tumour (glioblastoma multiforme) as well as specific forms of brain tumour, such as glioblastoma multiforme or anaplastic astrocytoma, that have returned or where the cancer has spread after standard therapy.

The affected drug batches are L00828 (5mg), L00829 (20mg), L00831 (100mg) and L01031 (250mg).

7th July 2010

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