News and Notices

Clinicians - please note! National shortage of diamorphine injection throughout June

We have been notified that there is a national shortage of diamorphine injection throughout June 2018

This shortage will mainly affect End of Life (EOL) patients.

Where diamorphine is not available prescribers are advised to use MORPHINE. The Symptom Management EOL Guidelines have been updated on Share-point as has the Anticipatory EOL Prescription (links below).  Hospital NMPs please liaise with your ward pharmacy team regarding drug selection, dose and supply.

DCHS staff involved with administration need to be especially vigilant when selecting the drug and dose.


  • Store different drugs and strengths separately especially in patients homes
  • Read ALOUD the drug name, dose and prescription
  • Follow the SIX Rights of Medicine Administration

Clinical information: The UK is the only country that uses diamorphine for medicinal analgesic purposes. Diamorphine is metabolised to morphine and in terms of analgesic efficacy and effect on mood, it has no clinical advantages over morphine by oral or subcutaneous/intramuscular routes. However, diamorphine is much more water soluble than morphine, and so offers advantages when high dose injections are needed, as smaller volumes can be used.*EOL*;

issued on behalf of:
Anna Braithwaite  
Chief Pharmacist & Head of Medicine Management
Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS FT
M: 07584 604796/ Office Tel: 01246 515633