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Drug interactions: what the cardiologist should know

Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy

Drug-drug interaction (DDI), defined as an interaction between two or more drugs, has been found to occur in up to 28 % of hospitalized patients. DDIs may be potentially or clinically relevant. Clinically harmful DDIs can occur with many cardiovascular drugs, e.g. lipid lowering agents (rhabdomyolysis), anticoagulants (bleeding), antiplatelets (bleeding) and antiarrhythmic agents (sudden cardiac death).
The number of interactions that the cardiologist should be aware of is rapidly expanding with the development of new drugs. The cardiologist must be aware of interactions among cardiovascular drugs. Also, since many patients are in pharmacotherapy also for non-cardiovascular diseases, the cardiologist should keep in mind potential interactions among cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular drugs, as well as interactions among non-cardiovascular drugs.
It was underlined that there is a need for computerized systems that check prescriptions for harmful interactions. At present, such systems are only rarely available to cardiologists working in hospitals or in private practice in Europe. The suggestion was that ESC might consider providing the information on harmful interactions needed, to partner in developing such a computer system and make it available to European cardiologists maybe on an EU-funded basis.




Drug interactions: what the cardiologist should know

The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.