Background Prescriptions with more than one drug increase the risk of drug-drug interactions, treatment failure, large pharmacological effects and adverse events.
Purpose To estimate the frequency of potential drug-drug interactions in prescriptions for hospitalised patients, and to identify the factors associated with these prescriptions.
Materials and Methods The work was in part sited in the Specialty Hospital in Rybnik (Poland) with the pharmacotherapy team. One of the tasks of the Team was to assess on the basis of documentation, the frequency of random combinations of drugs prescribed and the risk of adverse interactions. Analyses of prescriptions for medicines were made on randomly selected days. The analysis included 760 patients on the fourteen different wards of the hospital. Age, gender and administration of the drugs were noted. The potential D-DIs were identified and recorded.
Results Generally 59.42% of the patients received drugs identified as potentially causing D-DIs (52% of the patients were women, 48% were men). 59% of patients older than 65 years of age received a prescription including one potential D-DI. The average number of medicines taken by one patient was 3.29. The highest numbers of medicines were taken by a cardiology patient (8) and an internal patient (5). The greatest risk of occurrence of drug interactions was in patients in the cardiology department medical care facility (84.3%) and internal medicine department (69.9–80%). The lowest was observed in patients in the laryngological, ophthalmic and rehabilitation departments.
The potentially dangerous pairs of drugs most frequently prescribed were: furosemide-angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/warfarin, spironolactone/potassium and proton pump inhibitors/simvastatin. Gender and the number of drugs received were factors associated with the potential D-DI.
Conclusions The high percentage of prescriptions with potential drug-drug interactions makes it necessary to adopt alerting strategies that include warning about any associated factors identified and to implement educational programmes. This action may improve the quality of prescribing and reduce the risks for hospitalised patients.
No conflict of interest.
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