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MagazineMay 1994 (Vol. 5 Issue 2)Remoxipride

Remoxipride is a new antipsychotic drug, marketed as Roxiam in the UK by Astra Pharmaceuticals

Remoxipride is a new antipsychotic drug, marketed as Roxiam in the UK by Astra Pharmaceuticals. It is used to treat schizophrenia and other forms of psychoses which are accompanied by delusions, hallucinations and thought disorders, and is claimed t

However, even in the short time that remoxipride has been released, some worrying complications are emerging which don't seem to have been discovered in the drug's earlier pre marketing trials. Towards the end of 1993, the UK Committee on Safety of Medicines the body which monitors the safety of drugs in circulation issued a warning of eight reports of aplastic anemia among 50,000 patients using remoxipride worldwide. Aplastic anemia is a potentially fatal deficiency in blood cells caused by a failure of the cell producing machinery in the bone marrow.

The CSM warning was followed by a report from doctors at the Department of Haematology and Pharmacy at the UK's Leicester Royal Infirmary, of a 63 year old schizophrenic who developed red cell aplasia and thrombocytopenia lower than normal blood platelets, resulting in bleeding and easy bruising after being on a daily dose of 600mg remoxipride for a year (The Lancet, 5 February 1994).

This case, together with the earlier reports, leads the Leicester doctors to conclude: "Patients on remoxipride therapy may be at risk of developing severe blood [abnormalities] and require careful monitoring."

According to the UK Data Sheet Compendium, other problems associated with remoxipride include insomnia, anxiety, aggressiveness, nausea and headache. It can also cause muscle spasms.

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