Introduction: Drug interactions are considered as adverse effects of drugs that alter a patient’s response to an initial medication due to concurrent administration of different drugs or other substances. This
study aimed to assess the role of medical education in reducing
potential Atorvastatin drug interactions in a teaching hospital by
distributing alert cards and putting up posters in a nursing station.
Methods: Six hospital wards of Taleghani hospital were selected for the study (Gastroenterology-liver, Nephrology, Vascular Surgery, Orthopedics, Cardiology and Endocrinology Wards). The study was conducted in three phases. In the first phase, 100 patients receiving atorvastatin were examined for presence of drug interactions. Then in the second phase, warning leaflets and informative posters about atorvastatin drug interactions and its management were provided. Leaflets were distributed among ward practitioners and posters were put up in the nursing stations. Finally, in the third phase of the study, 100 patients that were being treated with atorvastatin were examined for presence of atorvastatin drug interactions. Analysis of data was performed using SPSS version 16 and p values of less than 0.05were considered significant.
Results: Overall, results showed that in all six wards after training, reductions in atorvastatin drug interactions decreased from 43% to 24% and this was statistically significant (P = 0.004). The comparison between internal and surgical wards showed a significant reduction in presence of atorvastatin drug interactions only in the internal wards where it decreased from 50% to 22.5% (p <0.001).
Conclusion: Distribution of alert cards and educational posters put up in nursing stations was successful, in that it effectively reduced atorvastatin drug interactions.
Keywords: Atorvastatin, drug interactions, Alert card, nursing station