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BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2018 Dec 10;19(1):85. doi: 10.1186/s40360-018-0276-4.

Epidemiology of potential drug-drug interactions in elderly population admitted to critical care units of Peshawar, Pakistan.

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Department of Pharmacy, Sarhad University of Science and IT, Peshawar, Pakistan.
Department of Pharmacy, Sarhad University of Science and IT, Peshawar, Pakistan.
University of Vermont Medical Centre, Burlington, VT, USA.
Punjabi Community Health Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Department of Pharmacy, University of Malakand, Lower Dir District, Pakistan.



Aging population, is a reality in many countries because of improvement in the health care, patient safety and other supplemental factors. Pharmacotherapy in this population must be evaluated due to their higher susceptibility to adverse drug outcomes, like potential drug-drug interactions (PDDIs). Research in this regard is limited particularly in developing countries. The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence and associated factors in this population.


The multicentered study evaluated the prevalence of potential drug-drug interactions and associated factors in elderly population at critical care units in Peshawar, Pakistan. Potential drug-drug interactions were evaluated using Micromedex DrugReax, while statistical analysis was performed using SPSS.


A total of 70.17% elderly patients were observed to have at least one PDDI. A significant association was observed between presence of PDDIs and number of prescribed drugs, duration of stay and age (p < 0.05). A total of 3019 PDDIs were observed, attributing to 225 drug pairs. Prevalent PDDIs were of moderate severity, good documentation and pharmacodynamic in nature. One-way ANOVA revealed a significant difference in the means of PDDIs between Northwest general hospital and the rest of the hospitals. Moreover, there was a significant difference in the means of PDDIs of CCU and SU with rest of the units.


The prevalence of PDDIs was observed to be high in elderly population which can be managed by avoiding or managing a limited number of drug combinations. Such studies are necessary to evaluate the risks of these PDDIs in a population which is already physiologically compromised.


Epidemiology; Geriatrics; Potential drug-drug interactions

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