Clinical Pharmacology & Biopharmaceutics
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Drug-drug interaction (DDI) refers to the interference of a drug in the action of another drug. Frequency of drug interactions
varies with the number of drugs used in combination; from 3 to 5 % in patients receiving few drugs to 20% when 10 to
20 drugs are used. Computer systems have proved helpful in identifying interactions that otherwise are increasingly enormous
and difficult to keep track for health professionals. The purpose of the present study was to assess the prevalence of DDIs in an
Ethiopian teaching hospital from prescription papers containing two or more drugs. A retrospective study of prescription papers
containing two or more drugs from September 2012 to January 2013 was carried out and the analysis of potential drug interactions
was done using the online version of Micromedex /Drug-Reax system. 964 prescriptions containing more than two dugs were
collected and a total of 580 potential drug interactions were found. The interaction between Ampicillin and Gentamicin, found
in (29.48%) prescriptions, was the most prevalent; though with minor severity. During the study period the most prevalent drug
interaction with major severity was that between Digoxin and Spironolactone (13.44%). The presence of drug interactions is a
permanent risk in hospitals. The utilization of computer programs to identify potentially interacting drug combinations and the
pharmacist participation in pharmacotherapy decision making are some ways of reducing this risk.
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