HC Deb 02 November 2000 vol 355 cc597-8W
Mr. Kidney

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated relating to the side effects of chlorpromazine. [134395]

Ms Stuart

The Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the expert advisory committee, the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM), have evaluated adverse reactions associated with chlorpromazine including involuntary movement disorders, abnormalities of the blood, sedation, muscle rigidity and the sensitivity of patients with underlying dementia to side effects. The MCA/CSM published advice on these reactions in the bulletin "Current Problems in Pharmacovigilance", which is received by all registered medical practitioners, in April 1979 September 1986, November 1993, November 1994, November 1995 and March 1996.

The MCA continuously monitors the safety of chlorpromazine, as with all medicines, from the United Kingdom spontaneous reporting scheme (the Yellow Card Scheme), and other sources including the published medical literature. A recently published study' suggesting an increased risk of first-time idiopathic venous thromboembolism in current users of antipsychotics including chlorpromazine compared with non-users, is currently under evaluation.

The Department has also funded research to the value of £1.4 million into antipsychotic drugs, including chlorpromazine. One project is a multi-centre randomised controlled trial in severe schizophrenia. This will compare conventional anti-psychotics with newer agents to assess relative effectiveness and differences in quality of life. A second project is a systematic review of comparative studies of depot and oral antipsychotics: quality of life, patient satisfaction and adverse effects will be among the outcomes studied.

1Antipsychotic drug use and risk of first-time idiopathic venous thromboembolism: a case control study. Zornberg GL, Jick H. Lancet 2000;356:1219–23.
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