Risk factors for potential drug-drug interactions in intensive care unit patients

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To determine risk factors for each severity-based category of potential drug-drug interactions (DDIs) encountered at intensive care unit (ICU) patients.


This was a retrospective cohort analysis of patients treated at the ICU of the Clinical Center Kragujevac, a public tertiary care hospital in Kragujevac, Serbia. Three interaction checkers were used to reveal drug-drug interactions: Medscape, Epocrates and Micromedex.


The study included 201 patients, 66.19 ± 16.11 years of age. Average number of DDIs per patient ranged from 10.49 ± 8.80 (Micromedex) to 29.43 ± 21.51 (Medscape). Antiarrhythmic or anticonvulsant drug prescription, Charlson Comorbidity Index, male sex, length of hospitalization, number of drugs or therapeutic groups prescribed and surgery increased the risk of DDIs in ICU patients, while presence of delirium or dementia and transfer from emergency department to ICU protected against.


The rate of the DDIs in ICU patients at a tertiary care hospital is high, and adversely influenced by number of drugs or drug groups prescribed per patient, antiarrhythmic or anticonvulsant drug prescription, comorbidities, length of hospitalization and surgery. On the other hand, presence of cognitive deficit and transfer from emergency department to ICU protect ICU patients from the DDIs.

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