gms | German Medical Science

17th Annual Meeting of the German Drug Utilisation Research Group (GAA)

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

25.11. - 26.11.2010, Osnabrück

Food supplements as an additional risk factor in patients with multimedication

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Lisa Goltz - Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie, Medizinische Fakultät Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Germany
  • Melanie Kosa - Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie, Medizinische Fakultät Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Germany
  • Jane Schröder - Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie, Medizinische Fakultät Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Germany
  • Sophie Lochner - Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie, Medizinische Fakultät Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Germany
  • Wilhelm Kirch - Institut für Klinische Pharmakologie, Medizinische Fakultät Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Germany

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie e.V. (GAA). 17. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie. Osnabrück, 25.-26.11.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. Doc10gaa29

DOI: 10.3205/10gaa29, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-10gaa298

Published: November 22, 2010

© 2010 Goltz et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en). You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Outline

Text

Introduction: Multiple drug therapy is common in Germany, especially among elderly patients. An increasing number of people also ingest food supplements in order to improve their state of health. However, the additional use of food supplements can be associated with problems in drug therapy, i.e. an increased risk of interactions.

Methods: All enquiries posed to the drug information service at the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology in Dresden, Germany in the years 2008 and 2009, were recorded in a relational database. Patient characteristics, number of drugs taken as well as kind and number of food supplements ingested by the enquiring patients were analysed descriptively.

Results: In 2008/2009 4155 enquiries were answered by the drug information service. A total of 18538 drugs were named in these requests, on average each patient took 4.5 different drugs simultaneously. In 22.4% of all cases patients ingested food supplements in addition to their drug therapy. Women took food supplements more frequently (64.8%) than men. The intake of mineral nutrients (21.2%), vitamins and coenzymes (21.0%) or herbal extracts (13.9%) was regarded most frequently.

Discussion and conclusion: Nearly one quarter of the evaluated patients ingested food supplements alongside their prescribed drug therapy. Because of the potential risk for additional interactions patients should inform their physician or pharmacist about the food supplement intake. Moreover, serious adverse reactions or drug interactions caused by food supplements should be reported to the authorities.