A study published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection examined the prevalence of contraindicated drug-drug interactions between oral antimicrobials and other oral medications in the US ambulatory care setting.

Researchers performed a cross-sectional study that included multiple year pooled data (2003 to 2011) from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS Outpatient Department). Patients aged ≥18 years who were prescribed oral antibacterial or antifungal medications were assessed for potential drug-drug contraindications. 

During the study period, a total of 1,235,000 outpatient visits where a patient was prescribed an antimicrobial agent associated with a contraindicated drug-drug interaction were identified (proportion 0.52%, 95% CI, 0.29-0.74%). The use of concomitant macrolide-containing products (eg, erythromycin or clarithromycin) with statin-containing products (eg, simvastatin or lovastatin) was the most common contraindicated combination (proportion 1.91%, 95% CI 0.96-2.86%). This was followed by the simultaneous use of fluoroquinolones with antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, sotalol, quinidine, or procainamide) (proportion 0.19%, 95% CI, 0.06-0.32%). 

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“Providers should be aware of potential contraindicated drug-drug interactions when prescribing antibiotics, especially macrolides and fluoroquinolones,” the authors concluded.

For more information visit clinicalmicrobiologyandinfection.com.