Impact of the FDA warning of potential ceftriaxone and calcium interactions on drug use policy in clinical practice
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Objective In September 2007, the FDA issued an alert recommending that ceftriaxone and calcium-containing solutions should not be administered to any patient within 48 h of each other. Due to the widespread use of ceftriaxone, significant concern was expressed by the greater healthcare community about the warning, which the FDA eventually retracted in April of 2009. We sought to quantify the impact of the warning on healthcare institutions. Setting A survey was administered to the membership of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists to quantify perceived changes in ceftriaxone use among healthcare institutions across the United States. Method A survey of Infectious Diseases experts was conducted. Participants were queried for hospital policies/drug use statistics during two times: immediately after the FDA warning and approximately 13 months post warning (preceding the FDA retraction). Main Outcome Measure Related changes in formulary, drug-use policy, and the number of employee hours that were devoted to addressing the FDA warning were assessed. Results Ninety-four surveys representing 94 hospital systems were included in the analysis. Approximately half (n = 49, 52%) of respondent institutions enacted at least one drug-use policy change based on the warning; one institution removed ceftriaxone from a clinical protocol. Institutions’ final interpretations of the warning differed slightly from initial understanding of the warning, and there was an overall minor decrease in the perceived use of ceftriaxone. The majority of those surveyed (n = 70, 74%) estimated that their respective institutions devoted between 1 and 49 employee hours to address the warning. Conclusion Hospitals with ID pharmacists had minimal changes to ceftriaxone use after the 2007 FDA warning. Specialized pharmacists may be uniquely situated to help hospitals interpret global recommendations locally.
KeywordsCeftriaxone Calcium Incompatible Interaction Neonate Precipitation Pulmonary embolism Renal failure Survey
We would like to thank Melinda Neuhauser for her input on the design of this study, and her help coordinating SIDP membership participation. We also thank Debbie Guagliardo for her assistance in survey design.
This study was funded in part by the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists: Infectious Diseases Pharmacotherapy Residency Award Program and by a Chicago College of Pharmacy, Student Leadership and Research Award, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL.
Conflicts of interest
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