Drug interactions: a challenge in interpreting postmortem toxicology results and a problem in the clinical practice
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Objective: Multiple drug intake is a problem in tbe clinical setting with potential to adverse drug reactions and certainly a problem in interpretation of forensic toxicology results. The aims of this investigation were to study the incidence of concomitant drugs in autopsy cases where citalopram or zopiclone were detected in femoral blood and to evaluate the potential of drug interactions.
Methods: All medico-legal autopsy cases in Sweden during 1992 to 2003 where citalopram or zopiclone were detected in femoral blood at the toxicological analyses were selected. The number and occurrences of concomitant drugs were recorded together with the concentrations as well as the cause of death.
Results: In the 2405 cases with citalopram, 123 different drugs, metabolites excluded, were detected 4679 times giving an average of 1.9 concomitant drugs and 1099 different dmg combinations were identified. The corresponding figures for the cases with zopiclone were 1557 cases, 118 different drugs detected 3984 times giving an average of 2.6 concomitant drugs and 977 different combinations. We found a strong positive correlation between the number of drugs detected and the frequency of cases judged to be intoxication.
Conclusions: Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions are a potential problem when interpreting forensic toxicological results and the conclusions about the cause and manner of death in the single case must be based on all available information from the investigation and tbe autopsy and on tbe knowledge of tbe pharmacology of included drugs. A better control of prescriptions of what different drugs an individual is given together with a comprehensive therapy control may reduce the risks of adverse drug reactions and unintended or accidental intoxications.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-85074DiVA: diva2:564140