Background: Cancer patients are more vulnerable to developing drug-drug interactions as multiple medications are administered concomitantly with cytotoxic agents to treat the underlying comorbidities. These drug-drug interactions often receive less medical attention and consequently are associated with adverse clinical outcomes. Objective: We intended to comprehensively characterize the drug-drug interactions among anticancer drugs and other concomitantly prescribed drugs in hospitalized lung cancer patients. Methods: A retrospective, observational, single-centre study was conducted on lung cancer inpatients from the medical records department of Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, India. Drug-drug interactions were identified using the drug interaction checkers of two drug information databases, Micromedex and Epocrates. These drug-drug interactions were categorized based on the source from which they were identified, mechanism, severity/significance, adverse consequences, and management strategies required. Results: Among 196 patients, 555 drug-drug interactions were identified in 185 patients using Micromedex and Epocrates. Based on the mechanism of action, 74% and 22% of the drug-drug interactions were classified as pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic respectively. 112 drug-drug interactions were recorded from Micromedex alone, while 549 interactions were found using Epocrates. The oral chemotherapeutic drug gefitinib was found to be associated with the highest number of drug-drug interactions. Conclusion: Drug-drug interactions were highly prevalent among hospitalized lung cancer patients. Structured screening and monitoring for these potentially clinically relevant drug-drug interactions by oncologists in collaboration with clinical pharmacists should be carried out prior to initiation and during anticancer treatment to prevent adverse clinical outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)