Exposure to potential drug interactions in primary health care

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

OBJECTIVE: To analyse the prevalence of potential drug interactions, and to identify patients particularly prone to drug interaction.

DESIGN: Database study (Odense University Pharmacoepidemiologic Database).

SETTING: Individuals exposed to polypharmacy in 1999 were examined for potential drug interactions.

SUBJECTS: Inhabitants of the County of Funen (n = 471 732).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of potential drug interactions.

RESULTS: One-third of the population were exposed to polypharmacy and among these 15% were exposed to drugs carrying a risk of harmful interaction. Among the elderly with polypharmacy, 25% aged 60-79 years and 36% over 80 years received drugs carrying the risk of interaction. Among individuals exposed to potential drug interaction, 62% were exposed only to one drug interaction and 38% to two or more different drug interactions. The drugs accounting for the highest number of potential interactions were diuretics, NSAIDs, ACE-inhibitors, digoxin, oral antidiabetics, calcium channel blockers, anticoagulants and beta-blockers. When focusing only on major drug interactions, potassium-sparing diuretics and oral anticoagulants were the most frequently involved drugs.

CONCLUSION: Elderly patients exposed to polypharmacy should be kept under intensified monitoring as they are at increased risk of clinically significant drug interactions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)153-8
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003

    Research areas

  • Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Denmark/epidemiology, Drug Interactions, Family Practice/statistics & numerical data, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Polypharmacy, Risk Factors

ID: 324177755