Supply Disruption Alert – Lithium carbonate (Priadel®) 200mg and 400mg modified release tablets – Update

Supply Disruption Alert – Lithium carbonate (Priadel®) 200mg and 400mg modified release tablets – Update

January 4, 2021

Update as of 4th January 2021

Priadel® 200mg and 400mg tablets remain available to order from wholesalers.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have agreed a revised price for Priadel® 200mg and 400mg tablets with Essential Pharma.

The following NHS list prices have been agreed:
• Priadel® MR 200mg x 100 tablets £7.50
• Priadel® MR 400mg x 100 tablets £8.50

Essential Pharma have issued a legally binding commitment with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to continue to supply Priadel® tablets for a minimum of five years to the UK, thereby securing the long-term availability of this crucial medicine. Further information can be found here.

Essential Pharma has informed the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) of its decision to reverse the discontinuation of Priadel 200mg and 400mg tablets from the UK market with immediate effect, whilst facilitating pricing discussions. As such the discontinuation notice issued to DHSC earlier this year has been withdrawn.

  • Clinicians across all healthcare settings are advised that there is no longer a need to implement system wide switching of patients from Priadel® tablets to an alternative lithium carbonate preparation.
  • All patients who are prescribed lithium treatment should now continue to be managed in line with usual clinical practice underpinned by the relevant NICE guidance.
  • Patients who have been switched to alternative brands of lithium should be given the option of switching back to Priadel® brand if they have experienced problems with the alternative brand of lithium.
  • Essential Pharma have advised that ordering quotas will remain in place across wholesalers (based on historic demand) for the foreseeable future. Please note, quotas are reset on the 1st of each
  • If pharmacies have insufficient supplies of Priadel® tablets and require stock urgently and cannot wait until the 1st of each month, please contact Movianto directly (tel: 01234 248 500 / e-mail: Please note, you will be required to create a Movianto account to obtain supplies.

Click here to view the CAS Alert.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have issued a supply disruption alert for Lithium carbonate (Priadel®) 200mg and 400mg modified release tablets

  • Priadel®(lithium carbonate) 200mg and 400mg modified-release tablets are being discontinued in the UK and remaining supplies of both strengths are expected to be exhausted by April 2021.
  • Lithium (Priadel®, Camcolit® and Liskonum® brands) is a first line treatment for patients with bipolar disorder. It is also licensed for the treatment and prophylaxis of recurrent depression, and aggressive or self-harming behaviour, and used off-license in the treatment of cluster headaches.
  • Clinical guidance advises that patients must be maintained on the same brand of lithium to ensure that a consistent serum lithium level is maintained. The switching of brands necessitated by this SDA will require individualised determination of dose, close monitoring of serum lithium levels and vigilance for relapse and tolerability in all cases.
  • Other brands of lithium carbonate tablets remain available including Liskonum® 450mg modified release tablets, Camcolit® 400mg modified-release tablets and lithium carbonate Essential Pharma 250mg tablets.

Priadel 520mg/5ml liquid is not being discontinued but please note this contains lithium citrate, not lithium carbonate, information on switching to liquid preparations is not included within this alert; if prescribers deem a switch to a liquid formulation appropriate, relevant guidance should be consulted to ensure safe switching.

Actions for pharmacy teams

All healthcare professionals in primary, secondary or specialist healthcare services should be aware of the advice in the alert which can be found here

The DHSC Medicine Supply Team provide a monthly update on potential supply issues affecting both primary and secondary care. This update is uploaded on the Specialist Pharmacy Services (SPS) website. To register, you will need  an NHS email address. Once set up and logged in, you will be able to access it online.

New shortages not listed on the SPS website, can be reported using our shortage reporting tool.

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