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Scand J Prim Health Care. 2003 Sep;21(3):153-8.

Exposure to potential drug interactions in primary health care.

Author information

  • 1Research Unit of General Practice, University of Southern Denmark, Odense. lbjerrum@health.sdu.dk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To analyse the prevalence of potential drug interactions, and to identify patients particularly prone to drug interaction.

DESIGN:

Database study (Odense University Pharmacoepidemiologic Database).

SETTING:

Individuals exposed to polypharmacy in 1999 were examined for potential drug interactions.

SUBJECTS:

Inhabitants of the County of Funen (n = 471 732).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Prevalence of potential drug interactions.

RESULTS:

One-third of the population were exposed to polypharmacy and among these 15% were exposed to drugs carrying a risk of harmful interaction. Among the elderly with polypharmacy, 25% aged 60-79 years and 36% over 80 years received drugs carrying the risk of interaction. Among individuals exposed to potential drug interaction, 62% were exposed only to one drug interaction and 38% to two or more different drug interactions. The drugs accounting for the highest number of potential interactions were diuretics, NSAIDs, ACE-inhibitors, digoxin, oral antidiabetics, calcium channel blockers, anticoagulants and beta-blockers. When focusing only on major drug interactions, potassium-sparing diuretics and oral anticoagulants were the most frequently involved drugs.

CONCLUSION:

Elderly patients exposed to polypharmacy should be kept under intensified monitoring as they are at increased risk of clinically significant drug interactions.

PMID:
14531506
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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