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Potential drug–drug interactions in inpatients treated at the Internal Medicine ward of Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital

Authors Tesfaye ZT, Nedi T

Received 1 November 2016

Accepted for publication 17 June 2017

Published 14 August 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 71—76


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Rajender R Aparasu

Video abstract presented by Zelalem Tilahun Tesfaye

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Zelalem Tilahun Tesfaye,1 Teshome Nedi2

1Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, 2Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Purpose: Although the concomitant use of multiple drugs often increases therapeutic effectiveness, certain combinations result in unwanted drug–drug interactions (DDIs). Most interactions go unnoticed by physicians due to the absence of new clinical signs and symptoms, and because they often produce a worsening of already existing symptoms. Quantification of the occurrence of the potential DDIs is essential to prevent the harmful effects associated with interactions. This study was launched to assess the prevalence of potential DDIs in the Internal Medicine ward of Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Patients and methods: Cross-sectional data were gathered from the medical charts of 252 randomly selected patients who were admitted to the Internal Medicine ward during August 23 to October 23, 2013, and exposed to at least two concomitant drugs. Potential DDIs were identified using Medscape Drug Interaction Checker. The data were analyzed using SPSS software. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the presence of association between variables and p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: At least one potential DDI was found in 78.2% of the patients. The mean number of potential interactions per patient was 3.7±3.4. Out of the 719 potential interactions identified, 49.8% were pharmacokinetic type, 44.6% were pharmacodynamic and the remaining 5.6% were unknown mechanisms. Major potential DDIs accounted for 13.1% of the whole interactions; 53.5% were moderate interactions; and the remaining 33.4% were minor interactions. Ceftriaxone, cimetidine and heparin were the three most involved drugs in major potential interactions. Prescription of five or more concomitant drugs was associated with high risk of encountering potential DDIs.
Conclusion: The findings of this study showed that the prevalence of potential DDIs among inpatients was high. Pharmacists should closely review drugs prescribed for patients and avoid dispensing combinations of drugs that may have serious DDIs.

Keywords: concomitant drugs, potential drug interactions, Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Ethiopia, pharmacokinetic interactions, pharmacodynamic interactions

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