The serious shortage protocol (SSP) for 10mg tablets of fluoxetine has been extended again into the winter, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said. 

This will be the third time the SSP for this particular formulation of the drug has been extended, after it was initially placed under the protocol in September 2020.  

The SSP will now end on 12 November, however ‘may be brought forward or extended’ during this time, an update from the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) explained. 

Several formations of the antidepressant have been placed under serious shortage protocols since the mechanism – aimed to mitigate the impact of medicines drug shortages – was introduced in 2019.   

However, the 10mg tablets are the only formulation of the drug to remain under the mechanism after the SSP for 30mg capsules was lifted in June.  

Under the protocol, pharmacists can supply an alternative of one fluoxetine 10mg capsule for every fluoxetine 10mg tablet they need to replace. 

Earlier this year, the DHSC told The Pharmacist that it expected ‘resupply’ of 10mg tablets by Q3 2021. 

A full list of active SSPs has been published on the NHS Business Services Authority’s website