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      Safe medication use based on knowledge of information about contraindications concerning cross allergy and comprehensive clinical intervention

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          An investigation of safety issues regarding information on contraindications related to cross allergy was conducted to promote clinical awareness and prevent medical errors in a 2200-bed tertiary care teaching hospital.


          Prescribing information on contraindications concerning cross allergy was collected from an information system and package inserts. Data mining and descriptive analysis were performed. A risk register was used for project management and risk assessment. A Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle was used as part of continuous quality improvement. Records of drug counseling and medical errors were collected from an online reporting system. A pharmacist-led multidisciplinary team initiated an intervention program on cross allergy in August 2008.


          Four years of risk management at our hospital achieved successful outcomes, ie, the number of medical errors related to cross allergies decreased by 97% (10 cases monthly before August 2008 versus three cases yearly in 2012) and risk rating decreased significantly [initial risk rating: 25(high-risk) before August 2008 versus final risk rating:6 (medium-risk) in December 2012].


          We conclude that comprehensive clinical interventions are very effective through team cooperation. Medication use has potential for safety risks if sufficient attention is not paid to contraindications concerning cross allergy. The potential for cross allergy involving drugs which belong to completely different pharmacological classes is easily overlooked and can be dangerous. Pharmacists can play an important role in reducing the risk of cross allergy as well as recommending therapeutic alternatives.

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          β-Lactam/β-lactam inhibitor combinations for the treatment of bacteremia due to extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli: a post hoc analysis of prospective cohorts.

          Extended-spectrum ß-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC) is an important cause of invasive infections. Alternatives to carbapenems--considered the drugs of choice--are needed because of the emergence of carbapenemase-producing enterobacteria. The efficacy of ß-lactam/ß-lactam inhibitors (BLBLI) in such infections is controversial. The authors performed a post hoc analysis of patients with bloodstream infections due to ESBL-EC from 6 published prospective cohorts. Mortality and length of hospital stay in patients treated with an active BLBLI (amoxicillin-clavulanic acid [AMC] and piperacillin-tazobactam [PTZ]) or carbapenem were compared in 2 cohorts: the empirical therapy cohort (ETC) and the definitive therapy cohort (DTC). Confounding was controlled by multivariate analysis; for patients in the ETC, a propensity score for receiving carbapenem was also used. The ETC included 103 patients (BLBLI, 72; carbapenem, 31), and the DTC included 174 (BLBLI, 54; carbapenem, 120). Mortality rates at day 30 for those treated with BLBLI versus carbapenems were 9.7% versus 19.4% for the ETC and 9.3% versus 16.7% for the DTC, respectively (P > .2, log-rank test). After adjustment for confounders, no association was found between either empirical therapy with BLBLI (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.14; 95% confidence interval [CI], .29-4.40; P = .84) or definitive therapy (adjusted HR, 0.76; 95% CI, .28-2.07; P = .5) and increased mortality. Furthermore, BLBLI therapy, with respect to carbapenem, was not found to influence length of hospital stay. These results suggest that AMC and PTZ are suitable alternatives to carbapenems for treating patients with bloodstream infections due to ESBL-EC if active in vitro and would be particularly useful as definitive therapy.
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            Epidemiology of hypersensitivity drug reactions.

            Hypersensitivity drug reactions are but one of the many different types of adverse drug reactions. They may be potentially life-threatening, prolong hospitalization, affect drug prescribing patterns of physicians and result in socioeconomic costs. This review summarizes current knowledge on the incidence, prevalence, mortality and risk factors for these reactions in different populations. Hypersensitivity reactions represent about one third of all adverse drug reactions. Adverse drug reactions affect 10-20% of hospitalized patients and more than 7% of the general population. Severe reactions including anaphylaxis, drug hypersensitivity syndromes, Stevens Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis are also associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although several risk factors have been identified, their clinical importance has not been fully understood. Future progress in immunogenetics and pharmacogenetics may help identify populations at risk for specific types of reactions. Well designed epidemiological studies on hypersensitivity drug reactions are lacking as most studies have been on adverse drug reactions. Such studies will be helpful in identifying patients at risk of developing such reactions, in particular severe reactions, and implementing early preventive measures.
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              Adverse drug reactions: types and treatment options.

              Drug hypersensitivity results from interactions between a pharmacologic agent and the human immune system. These types of reactions constitute only a small subset of all adverse drug reactions. Allergic reactions to medications represent a specific class of drug hypersensitivity reactions mediated by IgE. Immune-mediated drug reactions may be discussed generally in the Gell and Coombs classification system, a widely accepted conceptual framework for understanding complex immune reactions. However, some reactions involve additional, poorly understood mechanisms that are not easily classified. Identifiable risk factors for drug hypersensitivity reactions include age, female gender, concurrent illnesses, and previous hypersensitivity to related drugs. Drug hypersensitivity is a clinical diagnosis based on available data. Laboratory testing may be useful, with skin testing providing the greatest specificity. Treatment is largely supportive and includes discontinuation of the offending medication, symptomatic treatment, and patient education. Patients with penicillin allergy should avoid carbapenems, and caution should be used in prescribing cephalosporins in these patients. Reactions to radiocontrast media can be limited by pretreatment with prednisone, diphenhydramine, and either ephedrine or a histamine H2-receptor antagonist.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                26 February 2013
                : 9
                : 65-72
                [1 ]Division of Medical Affairs, , School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Cadre Department, Division of Nursing, , School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]Department of Pharmacy, Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Quan Zhou Department of Pharmacy, Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang 310009, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86 571 8778 4615, Fax +86 571 8702 2776, Email zhouquan142602@ 123456zju.edu.cn
                © 2013 Li et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

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