Potential Drug Interactions at One Indian Teaching Hospital.

Virendra K Patel, Leelavathi D Acharya, Thiyagu Rajakannan, Surulivel Rajan Mallayasamy, Vasudev Guddattu, Padmakumar Ramachandran


The potential drug-drug interaction (pDDI) increases as the number of concomitant medications increases. Patients with cardiovascular disorders are at higher risk for drug-drug interactions because of the types and number of drugs they receive. While drug interactions are reported to be common, there is no published report of the prevalence of such interactions among Indian cardiac patients.  The aim of the present study was to identify the pattern of pDDI and document any observed interaction. It was also planned to evaluate the demography of patients and correlate it with the drug-drug interactions.

A prospective observational study from Oct 2007 to Apr 2008 was carried out in ‘cardiology department’ of a hospital in South India. Those patients who were taking at least two drugs and had a hospital stay of at least 48 hours were included in the study. The medications of the patients were analyzed for possible interactions. Factors associated with pDDI were studied. The actual interactions that were observed during the hospital stay in the study subjects were documented.

A total of 812 patients were included in the study. 388 pDDIs were identified among 249 patients. The incidence of pDDI was 30.67%. The most common potential interactions were between aspirin & heparin (29.38%), and clopidogrel & heparin (7.21%). Drug class most commonly involved were antiplatelets, anticoagulants and diuretics. Majority of interactions were of moderate severity, delayed onset, and pharmacodynamic in nature. 68 actual interactions were observed in the observed cases.

The present study identified pDDIs and also documented interactions in cardiovascular patients. Factors which had correlation with adverse drug interactions were identified. This study highlights the need for screening prescriptions of cardiovascular patients for pDDIs and proactive monitoring of patients who have identified risk factors; this helps in detection and prevention of possible adverse drug interactions.


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