Purpose: To investigate the co-dispensing of contraindicated medications in patients using cisapride in an Italian population. Methods: The study included patients who had at least one cisapride prescription dispensed between 1 April 1997 and 30 September 2000. The proportion of cisapride users with concomitant medications, the proportion of prescriptions of cisapride with an overlapping dispensing of a contraindicated medication and the proportion of person-days of cisapride use concomitant with contraindicated medications, were calculated. Results: In the 4-year study period, 249 740 total cisapride prescriptions, which corresponded to 382 835 packages, were dispensed to 91 204 users (52 442 female, 57.5%). Concomitant use of contraindicated drugs was identified in 4403 cisapride users (4.83%). Throughout the study period, there was an increase in the proportion of cisapride users with contraindicated co-prescriptions: 4.29% in 1997, 4.99% in 1998, 5.15% in 1999, but a decline to 3.34% in 2000. In each year, this figure was higher in males, with the highest proportion reported in 1999 (5.50%). A total of 7215 cisapride prescriptions (2.85%) were concomitant with contraindicated drugs, ranging from 2.27% in September 1998 to 3.55% in January 1999. Cisapride prescriptions were most frequently associated with macrolide antibiotics (1.14%) and class III antiarrhythmics (1.03%). Conclusions: In the period 1997-2000, a substantial proportion of cisapride prescriptions were concomitant with contraindicated medications. In Italy in 1998, the National Health Authority issued a bulletin warning about the risk of serious arrhythmias after concomitant use of contraindicated drugs. Despite this warning, there was no reduction in contraindicated drug uses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Contraindicated drugs
- Drug utilization