European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 172, Issue 5, pp 631–638 | Cite as

Incidence of potential drug interactions in medication prescriptions for children and adolescents in the University Hospital Olomouc, Czech Republic

  • Petra Langerová
  • Michal Prokeš
  • Martin Konvalinka
  • Jana Fürstová
  • Karel UrbánekEmail author
Original Article


Drug interactions are important potential causes of adverse drug reactions. However, studies of their occurrence in children are almost entirely lacking. This study evaluates the incidence of potential drug interactions (PDIs) in medication prescriptions for children. The study was performed at the University Hospital in Olomouc. PDIs in each patient's prescriptions were identified. Multivariate analysis was performed in order to assess the risk factors confounding the potential interactions. Univariate analysis was used to assess which diagnostic groups and medication groups significantly increase or lower the odds of a potential drug–drug interaction. A total of 6,078 patients meeting the inclusion criteria entered the study. They received 19,522 prescriptions. PDIs were identified in 3.83 % of patients (moderate-to-severe cases in 0.47 %). Patient age (p = 0.008), the average number of prescriptions per visit (p < 0.0001), and the number of visits per year (p < 0.0001) were found to increase the risk of drug interaction. The presence of epilepsy, leukemia, or rheumatoid arthritis and related disease diagnoses were discovered to increase the risk of PDIs significantly. Conclusion: The risk of PDIs in children is low, but it increases significantly with age and the number of drugs prescribed, particularly antiepileptics and immunosuppressants. The finding of a potential interaction in 0.47 % of all children in whom any medication was prescribed should not be underestimated since it means a significant risk for one child out of every 200, and it is also substantially higher in the chronically ill. Pediatricians should be aware of relevant interactions and should prevent them by therapeutic drug monitoring or appropriate clinical and laboratory monitoring.


Drug interactions ADR Immunosuppressants Antiepileptics Drug prescriptions Pharmacology Pediatric drug prescription Children Pediatrics 



The study was supported by grants GAČR 303/09/H048 and IGA UPOL 2012_LF_004.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petra Langerová
    • 1
  • Michal Prokeš
    • 2
  • Martin Konvalinka
    • 2
  • Jana Fürstová
    • 3
  • Karel Urbánek
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and DentistryPalacký University and University Hospital OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic
  2. 2.Infopharm a.sPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Mathematical Analysis and Applications of Mathematics, Faculty of SciencePalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic

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