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19 November 2019

Epanutin and Carbagen are epilepsy drugs named on Gov’s ‘short supply’ list

A 24-page document circulated to doctors by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) last week, lists many NHS drugs which are currently in short supply, including some medications for epilepsy.

The document was yesterday leaked in the media.

The DHSC has this morning confirmed that the two epilepsy medications on the list are Epanutin (phenytoin) and Carbagen (carbamazepine).

There have been ongoing issues with both  medications, as reported on our website, and shared through Facebook and Twitter.

Please follow us at /epilepsysociety to make sure you receive regular updates of  all issues with epilepsy medications.

Epanutin Infatabs 50mg

Epanutin  Infatabs 50mg are currently out of stock. Pfizer is importing a generic form of Epanutin from Canada - Dilantin Infatabs to replace Epanutin Infatabs during the shortage. Dilantin is unlicensed in the UK.

This will be available through until mid-2020 to ensure that those who rely on this important medication are still able to access it. 

Read more about shortages of Epanutin

Carbagen

The following preparations of Carbagen are also unavailable:

Carbagen 200mg and 400mg Immediate Release Tablets
Carbagen 200mg and 400mg Modified Release Tablets

These will be out of stock until the first quarter on 2020. In the meantime, Novartis, the manufacturer of Tegretol which is the alternative brand of carbamazepine tablets, have confirmed that they are able to support additional demand during this time for all affected strengths and formulations.

Under guidance drawn up by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, carbamazepine is a category 1 anti-epileptic medication and those who take it should ideally remain on the same brand.

People currently prescribed Carbagen tablets will need to be switched to an alternative brand of carbamazepine tablets during this time. 

Read further advice about Carbagen and how to cope during a shortage

Find out more

Keep up to date with all issues around medication shortages.

BBC Radio File on 4

Tune into BBC Radio File on 4 at 8pm tonight (19 November 2019) to hear our Chief Executive Clare Pelham, talking about medication shortages.