The prevalence of major potential drug-drug interactions at a University health centre pharmacy in Jamaica

Main Article Content

Tracia-Gay Kennedy-Dixon
Maxine Gossell-Williams
Jannel Hall
Blossom Anglin-Brown

Keywords

Drug Interactions, Medication Errors, Patient Safety, Pharmacists, Jamaica

Abstract

Objective: To identify major potential drug-drug interactions (DDIs) on prescriptions filled at the University Health Centre Pharmacy, Mona Campus, Jamaica.

Methods: This investigation utilised a cross-sectional analysis on all prescriptions with more than one drug that were filled at the Health Centre Pharmacy              between November 2012 and February 2013. Potential DDIs were identified using the online Drug Interactions Checker database of Drugs.com.

Results: During the period of the study, a total of 2814 prescriptions were analysed for potential DDIs. The prevalence of potential DDIs found during the study period was 49.82%. Major potential DDIs accounted for 4.7 % of the total number of interactions detected, while moderate potential DDIs and minor potential DDIs were 80.8 % and 14.5 % respectively. The three most frequently occurring major potential DDIs were amlodipine and simvastatin (n=46), amiloride and losartan (n=27) and amiloride and lisinopril (n=16).

Conclusion: This study has highlighted the need for educational initiatives to ensure that physicians and pharmacists collaborate in an effort to minimise the risks to the patients. These interactions are avoidable for the most part, as the use of online tools can facilitate the selection of therapeutic alternatives or guide decisions for closer patient monitoring and thus reduce the risks of adverse events.

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