Epilepsy medication shortages

Difficulty getting your meds?

The UK is experiencing shortages in certain medications, many of which are prescribed for epilepsy.  

If you are worried about your supply of anti-seizure medications or are having difficulty getting hold of certain prescribed medications speak to your epilepsy team for more advice. Do not stop taking your medication or reduce dosage. Always speak to your doctor before making any changes to your meds. 

The news is reporting shortages in certain medications, and we know this will affect many people in the epilepsy community. We caught up with 19-year-old Zaid who told us he is finding it hard to get hold of his prescribed clobazam and auto-injectors. 
Meanwhile, 23-year-old Joe told us the reports of shortages of lamotrigine in the news make him feel anxious and worried about a potential disruption in his own supply of medication.

Seeing stories in the news of people rationing their meds is very concerning considering I rely on this medication.

This is not the first time we have seen shortages and disruptions in supply of crucial medications in the UK as Young Epilepsy CEO, Mark Devlin explains

We have seen previous disruptions in the supply of essential anti-seizure medications, and we know this can have serious implications for many young people living with epilepsy. The stress and anxiety this situation put on patients and their families can further exacerbate their epilepsy.

Government and the pharmaceutical industry must ensure there is a reliable supply of these vital medications and work together with specialist charities to understand the impact on patients of the cycles of shortages we have seen in recent years.

We must see an end to the repeated pattern of shortages in crucial medication that puts added strain on those living with long-term conditions and ultimately puts lives at risk.
Mark Devlin, Young Epilepsy CEO

NHS advice for anyone facing medication shortages 

  • Order any medicines you need from your GP practice in good time. 
  • Only order medicines that you need. If you have unused medicines in your cupboard, please use these first (remember to check the expiry date) and please do not order extra medicines. 
  • If there is a medication shortage with your nominated pharmacy, please ensure you try other pharmacies to fulfill your prescription before going back to your GP. This is because different pharmacies use a range of wholesalers and distributors.