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Published: 1 October, 2021


Managing allergic reaction to COVID-19 vaccination

The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) has published advice on managing patients who have had an allergic reaction to their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination. They also include recommendations for people receiving COVID-19 vaccination with a history of allergy to another vaccination or allergy in general.

Read the full advice from IMAC here.

Bromocriptine to be withdrawn

Bromocriptine will no longer be funded from March, 2022; no new patients should be started on this medicine. Patients currently taking bromocriptine will require an endorsed prescription for continued supply. Arrangements have been made so that women who are using bromocriptine during pregnancy can continue to do so.

Varenicline remains out of stock

A reminder that varenicline remains out of stock in New Zealand. Varenicline is unavailable world-wide due to manufacturing concerns. Stock of both Pfizer brands of varenicline has now been exhausted in New Zealand. There is currently no known resupply date. Alternative funded treatments include nicotine patches, gums or lozenges, bupropion and nortriptyline. We first reported on this supply issue in Bulletin 28 and then again in Bulletin 31.

New Zealand Formulary updates for October

Significant changes to the NZF in the October, 2021, release include new monographs for naltrexone + bupropion, upadacitinib for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis and vortiozetine for depression. There are some changes to existing monographs, including a new indication for rivoraxaban, an updated monograph for apixaban and updates to cautions, contra-indications and dosing regimens for several vaccines. Changes to therapeutic notes include an update for topical estrogen for vaginal atrophy and for the impaired immune response section of the adaptive immunity page.

October changes for the New Zealand Formulary for Children (NZFC) include updates to therapeutic notes for adaptive immunity and for the COVID-19 vaccines and changes to the monographs for several vaccines in terms of cautions, contra-indications and dosing.

Mental Health Awareness Week: Take time to kōrero

This week (27 September to 3 October) is mental health awareness week. The theme for this year is "Take time to kōrero" – a little chat can go a long way. Sometimes it's the smallest conversations that can make the difference. Many people who are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing find it difficult to voice their worries and concerns, and often feel a great strain of maintaining a positive façade on the outside. A simple "are you ok" from a trusted friend, colleague or health care professional may provide the pivot point they need to share their problems and start to find some solutions.

Podcast of the week: The Good GP – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The Good GP is an Australian podcast series made by, and for, busy GPs; each episode is around 15 minutes. The content is likely to be relevant to all primary health care professionals. In the most recent episode, The Good GP covers the management of patients experiencing obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which is often under recognised and under diagnosed. Many people have intrusive thoughts, but the key characteristic of a person with OCD is how they respond to these thoughts.

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