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Zopiclone missing PIL information

Missing information on suicide risk

September 14th 2020

Tagged: MHRA alert

By MHRA

The Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a class 4 medicines defect information notice in light of missing PIL information. The affected drugs are:

  • Zopiclone 3.75mg Tablets (Ratiopharm UK, Generics Uk T/A Mylan)
  • Zopiclone 7.5mg Tablets  (Ratiopharm UK)

Ratiopharm UK Limited and Generics [UK] Limited t/a Mylan have confirmed that the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) within all packs and the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) for Ratiopharm is missing important safety information related to potential suicide risks:

Missing information from the Patient Information Leaflet:

  • Suicidal ideation/suicide attempt/suicide and depression
    • Some studies have shown an increased risk of suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and suicide in patients taking certain sedatives and hypnotics, including this medicine.
    • However, it has not been established whether this is caused by the medicine or if there may be other reasons. If you have suicidal thoughts, contact your doctor as soon as possible for
      further medical advice.

Missing information from the Summary of Product Characteristics:

  • Suicidal ideation/suicide attempt/suicide and depression
    • Some epidemiological studies show an increased incidence of suicidal ideation, suicide attempt and suicide in patients with or without depression, and treated with benzodiazepines
      and other hypnotics, including zopiclone. However, a causal relationship has not been established.
    • As with other hypnotics, zopiclone does not constitute a treatment for depression and may even mask its symptoms (suicide may be precipitated in such patients).
    • Zopiclone should be administered with caution in patients exhibiting symptoms of depression. Suicidal tendencies may be present therefore the least amount of zopiclone that is feasible should be supplied to these patients to avoid the possibility of intentional overdosage by the patient. Pre-existing depression may be unmasked during use of zopiclone. Since insomnia may be a symptom of depression, the patient should be re-evaluated if insomnia persists.
    • Any underlying cause of the insomnia should also be addressed before symptomatic treatment to avoid under treating potentially serious effects of depression EL (20)A/44 Page 2 of 2
      It is important that any patients are provided with information on warnings and precautions whilst taking Zopiclone products. Additionally, patients who notice the symptoms/side effects or mood effects should seek immediate medical advice

Advice for healthcare professionals

Patients should be made aware that the information on the possible risk of suicide is missing from the PIL provided in their packs and should be given a copy of this alert.

An updated SmPC but not PIL is available online

View full alert here

For more information or medical information queries, please contact:

Ratiopharm UK Limited
Teva UK Medical Information at: medinfo@tevauk.com or Tel No: 0207 540 7117

Generics [UK] Limited t/a Mylan
Medical Information Direct Line +44 (0)1707 853 000 select option 1, Customer Care direct line +44 (0)1707 853 000 select option 2 or via Medical Information e-mail info@mylan.co.uk