§ Mr. McCrindle
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has had discussions or correspondence with the United States Food and Drug Administration with regard to the safety of the potassium substitute drug, the name of which has been sent to him, used for the treatment of high blood pressure; if the Committee on Safety of 60W Medicines has reported to him on the possible side effects of the drug; if he will discuss with the Committee on Safety of Medicines the absence of reference to the risk of ulcers arising out of the use of the drug on its data sheet; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
[pursuant to his reply, 8 March 1983, c. 384]: My hon. Friend has informed me that he is referring to the drug "Slow-K". This is recommended for use as a potassium supplement, which may be needed, for example, during diuretic treatment for high blood pressure. The possible side effects of potassium therapy have been know for many years, including the risk of gastro-intestinal bleeding and ulceration. The slow release formulations of potassium like "Slow-K", were designed to reduce this risk, but the data sheet for "Slow-K" warns of the possibility of these reactions in patients who may have an obstruction in their digestive system which might interfere with the normal passage of the drug. The Committee on Safety of Medicines is in touch with the Food and Drug Administration, and is continuing to monitor the safety of this drug.