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JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2012 Dec;5(12):1195-208. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2012.10.005.

Drug-drug interactions in cardiovascular catheterizations and interventions.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy Services, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.


Patients presenting for invasive cardiovascular procedures are frequently taking a variety of medications aimed to treat risk factors related to heart and vascular disease. During the procedure, antithrombotic, sedative, and analgesic medications are commonly needed, and after interventional procedures, new medications are often added for primary and secondary prevention of ischemic events. In addition to these prescribed medications, the use of over-the-counter drugs and supplements continues to rise. Most elderly patients, for example, are taking 5 or more prescribed medications and 1 or more supplements, and they often have some degree of renal insufficiency. This polypharmacy might result in drug-drug interactions that affect the balance of thrombotic and bleeding events during the procedure and during long-term treatment. Mixing of anticoagulants, for instance, might lead to periprocedural bleeding, and this is associated with an increase in long-term adverse events. Furthermore, the range of possible interactions with thienopyridine antiplatelets is of concern, because these drugs are essential to immediate and extended interventional success. The practical challenges in the field are great-some drug-drug interactions are likely present yet not well understood due to limited assays, whereas other interactions have well-described biological effects but seem to be more theoretical, because there is little to no clinical impact. Interventional providers need to be attentive to the potential for drug-drug interaction, the associated harm, and the appropriate action, if any, to minimize the potential for medication-related adverse events. This review will focus on drug-drug interactions that have the potential to affect procedural success, either through increases in immediate complications or compromising longer-term outcome.

Copyright © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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