Objective The aims of this study were to describe prescribing practices of lopinavir/ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin during the COVID-19 epidemic crisis (primary endpoint), then to characterise pharmaceutical interventions (PIs) targeted to these medications and evaluate the impact of these PIs on prescribers’ practices (secondary end-points).
Methods This retrospective observational study was carried out at the University Hospital of Strasbourg (France) from March to April 2020. The analysed population excluded patients from intensive care units but included all other adult patients with COVID-19 who received at least one dose of lopinavir/ritonavir combination, hydroxychloroquine or azithromycin, while inpatients. Analyses were performed by using data extracted from electronic medical records.
Result During the study period, 278 patients were included. A rapid decrease in lopinavir/ritonavir prescriptions was observed. This was accompanied by an increase in hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin prescriptions until the end of March, followed by a decrease leading to the disappearance of these two medications in April. The pharmaceutical analysis of the prescriptions resulted in 59 PIs of which 21 were associated with lopinavir/ritonavir, 32 with hydroxychloroquine and 6 with azithromycin. Regarding the medication-related problems, the most frequent ones were incorrect treatment durations (n=32 (54.2%)), drug interactions with potential torsadogenic reactions (n=14 (23.7%)) and incorrect dosing (n=6 (10.2%)). From the 59 PIs, 48 (81.4%) were accepted and physicians adjusted the medication regimens in a timely manner.
Conclusion This study demonstrated the value—even more meaningful in a crisis situation—of a strong synergy between physicians and pharmacists for patient-safety focused practices.
- pharmacy service
- drug-related side effects and adverse reactions
- evidence-based medicine
- quality of health care
- drug misuse
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request.
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