Assessing patients' information needs regarding drug-drug interactions

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Journal of the American Pharmacists Association


Objective: To assess patients' information needs regarding drug-drug interactions (DDIs) to inform patient DDI education resources. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Online (United States in May 2011). Participants: Registered users of an online medication monitoring service (MediGuard). Intervention: Online questionnaire. Main outcome measure: Participants' information needs regarding DDIs and perceived importance of questions related to detecting and preventing harm from DDIs. Results: Characteristics of the 100 surveyed participants were as follows: 57% women, 88% white, 96% non-Hispanic, 71% retired, mean (±SD) age 65.2 ± 9.7 years (range 35-86). The number of prescription medications ranged from 2 to 22 (median 7) and the number of over-the-counter (OTC) medications from 1 to 10 (4). The most common concerns cited by participants were identification of interacting medications, seriousness of DDIs, interactions with OTC medications, interactions with foods, exacerbating comorbidities, short- and long-term adverse effects, signs and frequency of DDIs, and how to minimize adverse effects. Statistically significant differences based on gender, number of prescriptions, and number of OTC medications were observed in rankings of the importance of some DDI questions (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Patient-centered DDI education programs should consider addressing the seriousness of DDIs, the effect of DDIs on comorbidities, and interactions with OTC medications and foods and determining methods for identifying, minimizing, and managing DDIs.

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