Drug interactions with Medications and ED Prescriptions Common

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Researchers performed chart review among 500 adult patients discharged from an emergency department (ED) with new prescriptions to investigate potential interactions with preexisting medications. Patient’s reported home medications and the newly prescribed medications by the ED provider were analyzed using the Lexicomp electronic drug interaction checker. Thirty eight percent of the patients had at least 1 drug interaction. Of the 429 interactions identified, 67 (15.6%) were classified as requiring no intervention, 260 (60%) as requiring therapeutic monitoring, 95 (22%) needed modification of therapy, and 7 (1.6%) were classified as avoid combinaion. Oxycodone/acetaminophen, ibuprofen, ciprofloxacin, prednisone and albuterol were the most common drugs implicated. A limitation of the study is that it was not known if patients actually filled the prescriptions. This study suggests that ED providers may not be considering potential drug interactions when prescribing medications. Be extra vigilant in screening for drug interactions when presented with prescriptions from ED providers.

• Jawaro T. et al. Am J Emer Med https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2019.01.049

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