New monograph released to guide safe treatment of serious COVID-19 symptoms

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has brought forward the release of streamlined information on the safe administration of baricitinib for people with severe COVID-19 symptoms requiring ventilation, as outbreaks continue and hospitalisations grow.

While baricitinib is approved for the treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis, in this early release from the 4th Edition of SHPA’s Don’t Rush to Crush, extended information covers the unapproved use of baricitinib in adult and paediatric COVID-19 patients who are hospitalised and unable to swallow the tablet whole.

SHPA President Peter Fowler says the monograph can be downloaded now, ahead of the release of the 4th Edition in print and online in the coming months.

‘Guided by member expertise, this new Don’t Rush to Crush monograph features easy to follow instructions on how to safely administer baricitinib to people with gastrostomy or nasogastric tubes, or who cannot swallow the tablet whole.

‘The monograph also includes important safety precautions required to protect staff from potential harm from occupational exposure.’

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the free provision of collated information reflects SHPA’s responsive commitment to excellent patient care as new COVID-19 treatments become available or await regulatory approval.

‘Providing this information, free, to all health professionals who need it reflects SHPA’s focus on upholding safe and effective medicines use, particularly in high-risk settings.

‘Our members and their colleagues are preparing for an increase in COVID-19 related hospitalisations as Australia opens up in the coming months.

We will continue to release new monographs as they are required so our clinicians, nurses and pharmacists can focus on providing safe care in our hospitals and COVID clinics.’

The 4th Edition of Don’t Rush to Crush will be available through the SHPA Bookshop and online from December 2021; join the pre-order contact list.

Download the media release.