Drug Interactions That Can Kill (and How to Avoid Them)
David Juurlink SMACC Chicago talk ‘Drug Interactions That Can Kill (and How to Avoid Them)’ takes us on a journey of drug interactions, case studies, and avoidance strategies.
Juurlink starts by educating us on the two different drug-drug interactions (DDI) – effects of one drug altered by the use of another . First of which is Pharmacokinetic where by one drug alters the level of another, the second Pharmacodynamic being no change in drug levels, and uses this as a basis for his following case studies.
Juurlink speaks of the dreadful literature that is available on the thousands of drug interaction per year, stating that most information comes from case reports and volunteer studies, and suggests that majority of these interaction are avoidable.
Juurlink goes on to discuss the findings of 4 case studies involving the following Drug-Drug Interactions and their effects on the patients.
SMX/TMP + sulfonylureas
Macrolides + digoxin
APAP + warfarin
SMX/TMP + ACEI/ARB
Juurlink provides us with a short list of trigger drugs that we should be aware of, a list of meds that warrant extra caution and list of possible safer alternatives. He also suggests that it is of the up most importance to have a good pharmacist to turn to as they are given more information on drugs interactions then physicians. And, to utilise resources such as pharmacy times – where you can get information on drug interactions at a push of the button.
Juurlink also suggests that an Informed patient is a very useful safety mechanism.