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Survey on Polypharmacy and Drug-Drug Interactions Among Elderly People with Cardiovascular Diseases at Yekatit 12 Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Authors Assefa YA, Kedir A, Kahaliw W

Received 16 September 2019

Accepted for publication 27 December 2019

Published 9 January 2020 Volume 2020:9 Pages 1—9


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling

Yelbeneh Abayneh Assefa,1 Ansha Kedir,1 Wubayehu Kahaliw2

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

Correspondence: Wubayehu Kahaliw
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, P.O, Box 196, Gondar, Ethiopia
Tel +251910532412

Background: Elderly people are most commonly associated with cardiac disease. Cardiovascular diseases are interlinked with co-morbidities which require multiple drug therapy in addition to cardiovascular drugs. This results to polypharmacy which carries a high risk of potential drug-drug interactions. Elderly patients are at a particular risk of drug related problems because of increased level of polypharmacy and the physiological changes which accompany aging. This study was aimed to assess polypharmacy and potential drug-drug interactions (DDIs) among elderly people with cardiovascular diseases at Yekatit 12 hospital.
Methodology: A retrospective cross-sectional study using patients chart review was conducted on all elderly people with cardiovascular diseases at Yekatit 12 hospital in the period between March 2018 and March 2019. The types, seriousness and level of potential DDIs were checked using Medscape online drug interaction checker.
Results: The mean number of drugs per prescription was 4.25 ± 1.754 and the prevalence of polypharmacy (concurrent use of 5 and more drugs) was 42.7%. Polypharmacy and potential DDIs were significantly associated with polymorbidity (P = 0.000), being hospitalized (P = 0.047) and congestive heart failure (P = 0.016). A total of 850-potential DDIs were identified, the mean number of potential DDIs was 3.37 per prescription. The potential DDIs were mainly significant (73.29%) in nature and pharmacodynamics (73.06%) in mechanism. The prevalence of total and serious potential DDIs were 84.3% and 17.3%, respectively. Most commonly interacting drug combination was aspirin + enalapril (30.2%).
Conclusion: A higher incidence of polypharmacy and increased risk of potential DDIs in elderly people with cardiovascular disease are major therapeutic issues at Yekatit 12 hospital.

Keywords: polypharmacy, drug-drug interaction, cardiovascular diseases, elderly

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