Potentially severe drug interactions in elderly outpatients: Results of an observational study of an administrative prescription database

A. Nobili, L. Pasina, M. Tettamanti, U. Lucca, E. Riva, I. Marzona, L. Monesi, R. Cucchiani, A. Bortolotti, I. Fortino, L. Merlino, G. Walter Locatelli, G. Giuliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: To estimate the prevalence of potentially severe drug-drug interactions (DDIs) and their relationship with age, sex and number of prescribed drugs. Methods: We analysed all prescriptions dispensed from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2003 to individuals aged 65 or more registered under the Local Health Authority of Lecco, a northern Italian province with a population of almost 330 000 persons. Elderly who received at least two co-administered prescriptions were selected to assess the presence of DDIs. Results: The prevalence of potentially severe DDIs was 16%, and rose with increasing patient's age and number of drugs prescribed. At multivariate analysis, the adjusted odds ratios rose from 1·07 (95% CI 1·03-1·11) in patients aged 70-74 to 1·52 (95% CI 1·46-1·60) in those aged 85 or older. Elderly taking more than five drugs on a chronic basis had a statistically significant higher risk of sever DDIs than those receiving less than 3 or 3-5 such drugs. Conclusions: The elderly constitutes a population at high risk of DDIs. As physicians still have some difficulty in managing this problem, it is essential to highlight for them, which factors raise the risk of DDIs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

Keywords

  • Database
  • Drug-interactions
  • Elderly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology

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