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A review on drug-drug interactions and its risk factors in medical intensive care unit

Gudala Sathya Sree, Saggurthi Pavani, Srimath Tirumala Konduru Sridhar, Jakka Venkata Srinivas




To review the studies on Drug-Drug interactions , its risk factors in Intensive Care Unit (ICU)  patients,  the prevalence of Potential Drug-Drug Interactions(PDDIs)and  levels of severity of PDDIs.


In this review article, a total of 10 literature studies were reviewed for prevalence of PDDIs and DDIs in ICU patients and other departments of different hospital settings. PDDIs are more prevalent in ICU patients than in other departments. The number of PDDIs increase with increase in number of drugs administered ranging from 9.8% for 2 drugs to 88.3% for 8 or more drugs. PDDIs also increase with prolonged hospital stay, presence of co-morbidities, increased age. The interaction between anti-coagulant and anti-platelet agents is responsible for greatest number of serious reactions and deaths or may prolong the length of hospital stay. Most of the identified DDIs are of moderate severity. A study compared baseline period when clinical pharmacist services were not provided with period when each patient’s profile was reviewed daily and interactions were minimized.


Most of the Drug-Drug interactions occur due to lack of knowledge regarding their Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) .The chances of occurrence of contraindicated DDIs should be minimized to prevent ADRs. Awareness of most commonly occurring DDIs should be raised by utilization of DDI guides clinical practice which can help prescribers and pharmacist to prevent DDI related ADRs.



Drug–Drug Interactions;prescriptions; co-morbidities; risk factors;length of hospital stay


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