Assessment of drug-drug interactions among renal failure patients of nephrology ward in a south Indian tertiary care hospital
Polypharmacy is common in drug prescriptions of chronic kidney disease patients. A study of the prescription patterns of drugs with potential interactions would be of interest to prevent drug related adverse events. A prospective observational study of six months (Dec 2009-May 2010) was carried out among the chronic kidney disease patients admitted to the nephrology ward of a South Indian tertiary care hospital. The pattern and rates of drug-drug interactions seen in the prescriptions of these patients was studied. Among the 205 prescriptions included, a total of 474 interactions were reported, making 2.7 interactions per prescription with incidence rates of 76.09%. Around 19.62% of interactions were of major severity. Most common interactions were found between ascorbic acid and cyanocobalamine (12.45%), clonidine and metoprolol (3.80%) respectively. Hypo or hypertension (31.65%), decreased drug efficacy (29.11%) and hypo or hyperglycemia (14.14%), were the most commonly reported clinical outcomes of the drug interactions. Cardiovascular drugs (calcium channel blockers and beta blockers; 52%) constitute the major class of drugs involved in interactions. As most of the interactions had a delayed onset, long term followup is essential to predict the clinically significant outcomes of these interactions. Hence, drug interactions are commonly seen in the prescriptions of chronic kidney disease patients which can lead to serious adverse events if not detected early. Need for collaboration with a clinical pharmacist and electronic surveillance, which are absent in developing countries like India, is emphatic.