Drug–drug interaction knowledge to save the patient from iatrogenic disease and to improve the diagnostic process

  • Enrica CecchiEmail author

A drug interaction occurs when a patient’s response to a drug is modified by other drugs, disease, food, nutritional supplements, formulation excipients, and environmental factors, and it may be harmful or beneficial. Altered compliance, pharmaceutic, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions are the main mechanisms involved.

A huge part of the related literature deals with harmful potential drug–drug interactions (PDDIs), but polypharmacy is potentially problematic rather than being often inappropriate. In fact, sometimes multiple drug regimens represent a price worth paying for health benefits. For example, Shi et al. [1] document the effect of sildenafil as an inhibitor of the transporter function of P-glycoprotein, suggesting a possible strategy to enhance the distribution and, therefore, the activity of anticancer drugs. Another example of drug–drug interaction-intended benefit, in emergency or cardiology setting, is the rapid control of rhythm in some supraventricular...


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Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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The article does not contain any study on human participants or animals.

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Informed consent was not required.


  1. 1.
    Shi Z, Tiwari AK, Shukla S, Robey RW, Singh S, Kim IW, Bates SE, Peng X, Abraham I, Ambudkar SV, Talele TT, Fu LW, Chen ZS (2011) Sildenafil reverses ABCB1—and ABCG2-mediated chemotherapeutic drug resistance. Cancer Res 71(8):3029–3041CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Magro L, Moretti U, Leone R (2012) Epidemiology and characteristics of adverse drug reactions caused by drug–drug interactions. Expert Opin Drug Saf 11:83–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Van Roon EN, Flikweert S, Le Comte M, Langendijk PNJ, Kwee-Zuiderwijk WJM, Smits P, Brouwers JRBJ (2005) Clinical relevance of drug-drug interactions: a structured assessment procedure. Drug Saf 28:1131–1139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Pejčić AV, Janković SM, Davidović G (2018) Drug–drug interactions in patients with acute coronary syndrome across phases of treatment. Intern Emerg Med. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Medicina Interna (SIMI) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emergency Department, Azienda USL Toscana CentroNuovo Ospedale S. StefanoPratoItaly

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