Article date: November 2007
At the end of January 2005, the MHRA announced that the painkiller co-proxamol was to be withdrawn from the market. This decision followed a 12-week consultation exercise to gather further information on the risks and benefits of co-proxamol.
A decision was made to withdraw co-proxamol over a phased period - until the end of 2007 - to enable patients on co-proxamol to move to suitable alternatives.
Any patients who are still taking co-proxamol should, where possible, be moved to a suitable alternative ahead of the cancellation of the licences at the end of the year. We recognise that there is a small group of patients who are finding it difficult to change, or where there is an identified clinical need when alternatives seem to be ineffective or unsuitable. For this small group of patients, continued provision of coproxamol through normal prescribing may continue until the cancellation of the licences at the end of 2007. After this time, a provision will remain for the supply of unlicensed co-proxamol on the responsibility of the prescriber, and the Marketing Authorisation holder for the brand leader (Distalgesic) has indicated that they will continue to manufacture co-proxamol to meet clinical demand.
Article citation: Drug Safety Update November 2007, vol 1 issue 4: 10b.