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Usage of the MCA database

SWMITUKMI Medicines Compliance Aid Database

The UKMI MCA Database is intended for use by healthcare professionals

For any enquiries about this database please email Tiffany Barrett or Trevor Beswick at SWMI@uhbristol.nhs.uk


1. To give us feedback on how well the UKMI MCA stability database worked for the medicines you’ve just checked via this link - https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5FTWFCH

2.  If you want to give us some feedback on the style, content and future developments of the UKMI MCA Stability database complete this second survey - https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5SMR5G2

About this Database

Manufacturers of medicines have robust data on the stability of their products when stored in their original packaging. There is very little reliable data available on the stability of medicines after they are removed from their original packaging and stored under different conditions.

What this database does - it makes recommendations on the suitability of solid dose forms for transfer from the manufacturers’ original packaging to multi-compartment compliance aids (MCAs). These recommendations are based on

  • physico-chemical stability and characteristics of the medicine and its formulation(s).
  • advice, where available, from manufacturers
  • data, where available, on storage in MCAs

Most entries are based on a lead brand. Some, but not all, generic products are included. Some medicines are not included in this guide. For example there are no oral chemotherapy agents included as it is widely accepted that these medicines are unsuitable for use in a MCA. Similarly some dose forms are generally not included for similar reasons e.g. effervescent, dispersible tablets.

The recommendations should be used alongside the guidance from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS MCA 2013) which is fully endorsed by the UKMi executive. 

What this database does not do – it does not endorse the routine use of MCA.  For some patients, there may not be an alternative way to achieve safe medicine administration and the use of MCAs is likely to continue. However, in line with RPS guidance (RPS MCA 2013), the use of original packs and appropriate pharmaceutical support is the preferred option.

Your own professional judgement is required - the guide offers general advice.  We have not attempted to produce advice for the various types of MCA e.g. heat or cold sealed, patient self- filled, pharmacy packed etc.  Users should use the recommendations to make a professional, clinical decision about the appropriateness of transferring their patient’s medicines to a specific MCA in the context of other issues such as

  • relevant organisational policies and procedures,
  • the patient’s characteristics,
  • the complexity of the dose regime (e.g. irregular dosing or dose titrations),
  • storage and transport considerations,
  • measures to mitigate against factors that may affect stability e.g. heat and light.

Decisions to transfer a specific product to a MCA may vary depending on the above factors.

You should now read the following documents before accessing the MCA database (click on the highlighted text to access the documents)

  • Developing the UKMI MCA database – this is a brief explanation of the sources used to compile the database and the process UKMI followed. There are also links to guidance issued by the relevant national professional organisations

A copy of all this information can be accessed from the MCA database front page. We advise you have a copy of this open so that you can refer back to it whilst working in the MCA database.

By ticking the box to enter the database you confirm that you have read the information and documents above.

We welcome feedback. All feedback should be emailed to:  SWMI@uhbristol.nhs.uk

Notes Read Confirmation

Please make a selection. I confirm that I have read the above notes.


We welcome feedback. All feedback should be emailed to swmi@ubht.nhs.uk

Date prepared 4/10/2013  Authors: Trevor Beswick and Tiffany Barrett, SWMIT  Version 1
Updated 18/7/2014  Authors: Trevor Beswick and Tiffany Barrett, SWMIT  Version 2
Updated 24/9/2014 Authors: Trevor Beswick and Tiffany Barrett, SWMIT  Version 3
Updated 2/12/2015   Authors: Trevor Beswick and Tiffany Barrett, SWMIT  Version 4
G1 Green 1 Stability data indicates that the drug is suitable for CAs and there are no theoretical concerns with the product.
G2 Green 2 No stability data is available, but manufacturer suggests it is suitable for use in CAs.
A1 Amber 1 Stability data is available in an alternative container (not CAs) that may be extrapolated to support storage in CAs.
A2 Amber 2 No stability data is available, the manufacturer does not, or cannot recommend use in CAs but there are no theoretical concerns with the product.
A3 Amber 3 No stability data is available. There are theoretical concerns with use in CAs, which may be mitigated by risk minimisation.
R1 Red 1 Stability data indicates that the drug is not suitable for CAs.
R2 Red 2 Drug is not suitable for CAs due to theoretical reasons that cannot be mitigated.