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20th Annual Meeting of the German Drug Utilisation Research Group (GAA)

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

05.12. - 06.12.2013, Düsseldorf

Drug-drug interactions in the intensive care unit

Arzneimittelinteraktionen auf der Intensivstation

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Katrin Farker - Universitätsklinikum Jena, Apotheke, Universitäres Zentrum für Pharmakotherapie und Pharmakoökonomie, Jena, Germany
  • author Katja Leichenberg - Universitätsklinikum Jena, Apotheke, Universitäres Zentrum für Pharmakotherapie und Pharmakoökonomie, Jena, Germany
  • author Michael Hartmann - Universitätsklinikum Jena, Apotheke, Jena, Germany

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie e.V. (GAA). 20. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie. Düsseldorf, 05.-06.12.2013. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2013. Doc13gaa09

doi: 10.3205/13gaa09, urn:nbn:de:0183-13gaa094

Published: November 25, 2013

© 2013 Farker et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Drug-drug interactions (DDIs) may compromise patient safety by leading to toxicity or a diminishing therapeutic benefit. Critically ill patients are at an increased risk of adverse drug events related to DDIs because of the large number of medications that they receive and pharmacokinetic characteristics of the administered medications.

The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate pharmaceutical interventions in the intensive care unit (ICU) to concentrate DDIs.

Materials and Methods: The participation of a clinical pharmacist during ward rounds in four intensive care units (75 beds) at the University hospital Jena was started in September 2010. Pharmaceutical interventions documented and classified in the database ADKA DokuPIK were analysed over 18 month from January 1st 2011 to June 30th 2013.

Results: Altogether 2968 pharmaceutical interventions were documented between January 2011 and June 2013. In 2017 patients 2519 pharmaceutical interventions were managed during ward rounds. Of 2968 pharmaceutical interventions evaluated, 121 (4.1%) clinically relevant DDIs were identified. The most frequently encountered drug classes that caused potential drug-drug interactions were cardiovascular medications (35% ATC-Code C) and antibacterials for systemic use (30% ATC-Code J). Change of medication or dosage was in 37.2% caused by the pharmacist recommendations. The rate of physicans’ acceptance was 92.4%. On the basis of the documented interventions a handout was developed to prevent drug-drug interactions by focusing on pharmacokinetic interactions caused by the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme system.

Conclusion: There was a high acceptance rate by the physicians for medication-related recommendations made by the pharmacist. The handout for prevention of drug-drug interactions was implemented in the ICU. A clinical pharmacy service is helpful for optimizing pharmacotherapy in a multidisciplinary team in the ICU.