1. Overview

1.1 Medicines modules

Our educational modules on medicines have been written for healthcare professionals responsible for prescribing, supplying or administering medicines. They can be used by:

  • trainee healthcare professionals
  • established clinicians to refresh and update their knowledge
  • clinicians moving from one specialty to another

The modules cover clinically-relevant aspects of medicines regulation as well as topics on the risks of commonly-prescribed specific classes of medicines.

Questions in the modules test users’ understanding of the materials. Feedback on the questions is included.

2. Continuing professional development (CPD) accreditation

The following medicines e-learning modules have been approved for CPD accreditation by The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians:

  • Antipsychotics – 3.5 CPD credits
  • Benzodiazepines – 2.5 CPD credits
  • Opioids – 2 CPD credits
  • Oral anticoagulants – 1.5 CPD credits
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – 3 CDP credits

If you are claiming CPD credits, for audit purposes we recommend that you:

  • retain any pages you print
  • retain any notes you make
  • write a reflective commentary on what you have learned and how this may help in your practice

3. Antipsychotics

Antipsychotics are prescribed very widely, mainly for psychosis, but also for other indications. This module identifies the most important hazards of antipsychotics and informs on actions that health professionals can take in order to anticipate, minimise and manage the risks.

It will take you about 3.5 hours to complete the module. It doesn’t have to be done in one sitting. You will need about 30 minutes to answer the multiple-choice questions and to check your answers against the question feedback we have provided.

Used with summaries of product characteristics and authoritative guidelines on the clinical use of antipsychotics, this module will help to maximise the benefits of antipsychotics

On completion of the module you will be able to:

  • recognise any antipsychotic drugs you encounter and how the drugs are classified
  • list important risks of antipsychotic drugs in general
  • outline factors that contribute to the risks of antipsychotics and how the risks can be reduced
  • identify important drug interactions of antipsychotics
  • outline the risks of special uses of antipsychotics (eg in the elderly with dementia, use of immediate-acting and prolonged-action parenteral antipsychotics and of clozapine) and how these risks can be minimised

4. Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are prescribed widely, mainly for the management of anxiety, insomnia and epilepsy. Other indications include:

  • management of alcohol withdrawal
  • muscle spasm
  • sedation in dental and medical procedures
  • in surgery

This module identifies the most important hazards of benzodiazepines and informs health professionals how to anticipate, minimise and manage the risks. Used with summaries of product characteristics and authoritative guidelines on the clinical use of benzodiazepines, this module will help to maximise the benefits of benzodiazepines.

On completion of the module you will be able to:

  • recognise any benzodiazepine drugs you encounter
  • list important risks of benzodiazepines in general
  • outline factors that contribute to the risks of benzodiazepines and how the risks can be reduced
  • identify important drug interactions of benzodiazepines

It will take you about 2 hours to complete the module. It doesn’t have to be done in one sitting. You will need about 20 minutes to answer the multiple-choice questions and to check your answers against our question feedback.

5. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are essential for managing diverse disorders, including asthma, skin conditions and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. They are used to prevent transplant rejection and in regimens for treating some cancers. But corticosteroids are also associated with important side effects—taking the right precautions protects patients from harm.

We have produced a quick-start guide to using the MHRA learning management system to help you.

This module will enable you to:

  • recognise corticosteroid drugs encountered in practice
  • list important general risks of corticosteroids
  • outline factors that contribute to the risks of corticosteroids
  • list ways of reducing the risks of corticosteroids
  • identify important drug interactions of corticosteroids
  • advise women on risks during pregnancy and breast feeding

It should take about 2 hours to work through the module and attempt the assessed multiple-choice quiz. Full feedback is provided on the questions. You can download a certificate when you get the passing mark.

The corticosteroid learning module is approved for continuing professional development (CPD) by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom.

6. Opioids

Opioids are prescribed very widely, mainly for managing pain. This module identifies the most important hazards of opioids and shows how you can anticipate, minimise and manage the risks.

Completing the module will take about 2 hours. You will need about 30 minutes to answer the multiple-choice questions and to check your answers against the question feedback.

On completing the module, you will be able to:

  • recognise opioid medicines you come across
  • list important risks of opioids
  • outline factors that contribute to the risk of opioids and how the risks can be managed
  • identify important drug interactions of opioids
  • list the principles of managing opioid overdose

7. Oral anticoagulants

This e-learning module outlines the key risks of these valuable and widely prescribed medicines and is aimed at all clinical practitioners.

The learning module includes a quiz on important risks and their management and you can download evidence of your learning.

To use the learning module, you will need to create an account for our learning management system. This will take no more than a couple of minutes and we will accept your registration within 2 working days.

We have produced a quick-start guide to using the MHRA learning management system to help you.

This module covers:

  • a description of important adverse effects
  • factors that increase the risk of adverse effects
  • how the clinician and the patient can reduce the risk
  • specific treatment of the adverse effect

8. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) form the most widely prescribed class of antidepressants. This module identifies the most important hazards of SSRIs and informs on actions that health professionals should take in order to minimise and manage the risks.

This training module is for medical, nursing and pharmaceutical professionals. It is suitable for those nearing the end of their formal training or those who have recently completed their training. Also, health professionals will find the module a helpful refresher, for example, at the start of a posting in clinical psychiatry.

Completing the module will take about 2 hours and answering the self-assessment questions will take about 30 minutes. You may need to re-read and review specific areas, particularly when answering the self-assessment questions.

Used in conjunction with authoritative guidelines on disease management, this module will help you maximise the benefits of SSRI treatment.

You will be introduced to common adverse effects as well as rare but serious risks of SSRIs and learn how the risks can be minimised and managed.