Drug therapy forms an integral part of the management of many orthopaedic conditions. However, many medicines can produce serious adverse reactions if prescribed inappropriately, either alone or in combination with other drugs. Often these hazards are not appreciated. In response to this, the European Union recently issued legislation regarding safety measures which member states must adopt to minimise the risk of errors of medication.
In March 2014 the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and NHS England released a Patient Safety Alert initiative focussed on errors of medication. There have been similar initiatives in the United States under the auspices of The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error and The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. These initiatives have highlighted the importance of informing and educating clinicians.
Here, we discuss common drug interactions and contra-indications in orthopaedic practice. This is germane to safe and effective clinical care.