THOUSANDS of users of an anti-epilepsy drug have been warned supplies could run out next summer.
Users in Huddersfield are among those who have spoken out on their fears.
Mysoline is marketed by AstraZeneca, the only company licensed to sell it in the UK.
But the pharmaceutical giant is stopping production, blaming low demand.
The charity Epilepsy Action is warning the estimated 10,000 people still taking Mysoline to contact their GPs immediately.
Charity bosses are complaining about the short notice given by AstraZeneca - it normally takes 10 to 18 months for people to withdraw from Mysoline.
Joan Gorton of Epilepsy Action's Huddersfield Group commented: "There could be many people with epilepsy who have been taking Mysoline for many years and get repeat prescriptions without seeing their GP."
A statement from Epilepsy Action said: "The Mysoline issue has highlighted the need for an urgent review of Department of Health guidelines on the discontinuation of drugs.
"We believe that the guidelines should be based on a minimum of the time required to withdraw or change drugs safely.
"Epilepsy Action will be lobbying the Government for an urgent and thorough review of these guidelines so this situation does not arise again."
An spokesman for the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical group said: "AstraZeneca is investigating alternative options for extending the supply of Mysoline.
"Although the company is trying to bring resolution to this situation quickly, we cannot confirm at this time that any of the options will prove successful."
The company hopes to move production to another firm and ensure a continuing supply after August 2004.
Anyone needing further information can contact Epilepsy Action's freephone helpline on 0808 800 5050 or AstraZeneca on freephone 0800 8930 033.