Many Patients Take OTC Meds That May Interact With Apixaban

Less knowledge about OTC products with potentially serious interactions linked to increased use

HealthDay News – Many patients take over-the-counter (OTC) products with potentially serious interactions with the direct-acting oral anticoagulant apixaban, according to research published online October 28 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Derjung M. Tarn, MD, PhD, from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional survey among 791 patients prescribed apixaban to examine the prevalence of use and knowledge of OTC products with potentially serious apixaban interactions.

The researchers found that 97.5% of participants reported OTC product use. Overall, 33% took at least one OTC product with potentially serious apixaban interactions daily/most days and 6.7% took multiple products. A total of 14.7% of participants took aspirin daily; of these participants, 64.7% also consumed other potentially interacting OTC products and 10.4% took aspirin some days/as needed. Ibuprofen/naproxen was taken daily/most days and occasionally by 1.8 and 28.5%, respectively. More than 1 in 5 (20.2%) took dietary supplements with potentially serious interactions daily/most days. About two-thirds (66%) of respondents were uncertain or incorrect about the potential for increased bleeding with combined use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and apixaban. Greater OTC product use was seen in association with less knowledge about OTC products with potentially serious interactions (odds ratio, 0.54).

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“This study demonstrates that patients have limited knowledge about potential serious interactions between OTC products and apixaban,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including BMS/Pfizer Alliance, which provided funding for the study.

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