Article

Potentially harmful drug-drug interactions in the elderly: a review.

Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research, University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Tucson, USA.
The American journal of geriatric pharmacotherapy 11/2011; 9(6):364-77. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjopharm.2011.10.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Elderly patients are vulnerable to drug interactions because of age-related physiologic changes, an increased risk for disease associated with aging, and the consequent increase in medication use.
The purpose of this narrative review was to describe findings from rigorously designed observational cohort and case-control studies that have assessed specific drug interactions in elderly patients.
The PubMed and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts databases were searched for studies published in English over the past 10 years (December 2000-December 2010) using relevant Medical Subject Headings terms (aged; aged, 80 and over; and drug interactions) and search terms (drug interaction and elderly). Search strategies were saved and repeated through September 2011 to ensure that the most recent relevant published articles were identified. Additional articles were found using a search of review articles and reference lists of the identified studies. Studies were included if they were observational cohort or case-control studies that reported specific adverse drug interactions, included patients aged ≥65 years, and evaluated clinically meaningful end points. Studies were excluded if they used less rigorous observational designs, assessed pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic properties, evaluated drug-nutrient or drug-disease interactions or interactions of drug combinations used for therapeutic benefit (eg, dual antiplatelet therapy), or had inconclusive evidence.
Seventeen studies met the inclusion criteria. Sixteen studies reported an elevated risk for hospitalization in older adults associated with adverse drug interactions. The drug interactions included: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and potassium-sparing diuretics, ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, benzodiazepines or zolpidem and interacting medications, calcium channel blockers and macrolide antibiotics, digoxin and macrolide antibiotics, lithium and loop diuretics or ACE inhibitors, phenytoin and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, sulfonylureas and antimicrobial agents, theophylline and ciprofloxacin, and warfarin and antimicrobial agents or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. One study reported the risk for breast cancer-related death as a function of paroxetine exposure among women treated with tamoxifen.
Several population-based studies have reported significant harm associated drug interactions in elderly patients. Increased awareness and interventions aimed at reducing exposure and minimizing the risks associated with potentially harmful drug combinations are needed.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Lisa E Hines, Jun 06, 2014
3 Followers
 · 
242 Views
  • 11/2011; 9(6):361-3. DOI:10.1016/j.amjopharm.2011.10.007
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Older adults are about four to seven times more likely than younger persons to experience adverse drug events (ADEs) that cause hospitalization, especially if they are women and take multiple medications. The prevalence of drug-related hospitalizations has been reported to be as high as 31%, with large heterogeneity between different studies, depending on study setting (all hospital admissions or only acute hospital admissions), study population (entire hospital, specific wards, selected population and/or age groups), type of drug-related problem measured (adverse drug reaction or ADE), method of data collection (chart review, spontaneous reporting or database research) and method and definition used to detect ADEs. The higher risk of drug-related hospitalizations in older adults is mainly caused by age-related pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes, a higher number of chronic conditions and polypharmacy, which is often associated with the use of potentially inappropriate drugs. Other factors that have been involved are errors related to prescription or administration of drugs, medication non-adherence and inadequate monitoring of pharmacological therapies. A few commonly used drugs are responsible for the majority of emergency hospitalizations in older subjects, i.e. warfarin, oral antiplatelet agents, insulin and oral hypoglycaemic agents, central nervous system agents.The aims of the present review are to summarize recent evidence concerning drug-related hospitalization in older adults, to assess the contribution of specific medications, and to identify potential interventions able to reduce the occurrence of these drug-related events, as they are, at least partly, potentially preventable.
    Drug Safety 01/2012; 35 Suppl 1(S1):29-45. DOI:10.1007/BF03319101 · 2.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Antidepressants are among the most commonly prescribed psychotropic agents for older patients. Little is known about the best source of pharmacotherapy information to consult about key factors necessary to safely prescribe these medications to older patients. The objective of this study was to synthesize and contrast information in the package insert (PI) with information found in the scientific literature about age-related changes of antidepressants in systemic clearance and potential pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions (DDIs). A comprehensive search of two databases (MEDLINE and EMBASE from January 1, 1975 to September 30, 2011) with the use of a combination of search terms (antidepressants, pharmacokinetics, and drug interactions) was conducted to identify relevant English language articles. This information was independently reviewed by two researchers and synthesized into tables. These same two researchers examined the most up-to-date PIs for the 26 agents available at the time of the study to abstract quantitative information about age-related decline in systemic clearance and potential DDIs. The agreement between the two information sources was tested with κ statistics. The literature reported age-related clearance changes for 13 antidepressants, whereas the PIs only had evidence about 4 antidepressants (κ < 0.4). Similarly, the literature identified 45 medications that could potentially interact with a specific antidepressant, whereas the PIs only provided evidence about 12 potential medication-antidepressant DDIs (κ < 0.4). The evidence-based literature compared with PIs is the most complete pharmacotherapy information source about both age-related clearance changes and pharmacokinetic DDIs with antidepressants. Future rigorously designed observational studies are needed to examine the combined risk of antidepressants with age-related decline in clearance and potential DDIs on important health outcomes such as falls and fractures in older patients.
    01/2012; 10(2):139-50. DOI:10.1016/j.amjopharm.2012.01.001