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Perspect Clin Res. 2019 Apr-Jun;10(2):62-66. doi: 10.4103/picr.PICR_55_18.

Are drug-drug interactions a real clinical concern?

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India.
2
Department of Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India.

Abstract

Aim:

Although drug-drug interactions (DDIs) cause major adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in patients under polypharmacy, the risk of some specific DDIs may be overrated in literature and different software. This study was conducted to determine the frequency and type of potential and clinically significant DDIs among inpatients admitted in a tertiary care hospital in South India.

Materials and Methods:

This longitudinal study was conducted for 30 days. Preformatted forms were used to collect data on the second day of admission. "Medscape Drug Interaction Checker" was used to evaluate and grade the DDIs. All the potential serious DDIs were intimated to the treating physicians and their responses in the prescriptions were noted. The same patients were followed up to evaluate the occurrence of any clinically significant DDIs.

Results:

A total of 763 drugs with 125 discrete types were prescribed in 155 patients with an average of 4.9 drugs per patient. One hundred and eight minor, 169 significant, and 24 serious potential DDIs were identified. Patient's age did not correlate, but number of drugs prescribed strongly correlated (P < 0.001) with the incidence of different types of DDIs. The prescription was modified in only 6 (25%) cases where potential serious DDIs were reported. Interestingly, no ADRs or impaired efficacy was observed due to the potential serious DDIs.

Conclusion:

There was a disparity between the potential and clinically relevant DDIs. Hence, clinical prudency is required before changing prescription due to potential DDIs reported by different software.

KEYWORDS:

Adverse drug reactions; Medscape Drug Interaction Checker; drug-drug interactions; inpatients; polypharmacy

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