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Revista Cubana de Farmacia

Print version ISSN 0034-7515


ORTEGA LOPEZ, Irma Leonor; ESPINOSA DURAN, Roberto; IBANEZ ALCARAZ, Mariela  and  PELEGRIN GAMBOA, Ángel Luis. Problems associated to the use of digoxin in the elderly patients. Rev Cubana Farm [online]. 2014, vol.48, n.1, pp.73-88. ISSN 0034-7515.

Objective: to identify the problems related to the use of digoxin in elderly patients. Methods: the selection of patients was based on the medical certificates for the use of digoxin, which were filed in the drugstores, and on the patient's consent to be involved in interviews. The research took into account the disease for which digoxin was prescribed as treatment, the individualization of prescription, the prescribed dosage and dosing intervals, in addition to the assessment of potentially inappropriate prescriptions according to Beers criteria. Results: all the participating patients presented with some problems related to the use of digoxin. The most common were drug interactions (100 %), likely use to treat nonprescribed diseases (82 %), use of a dose higher than the recommended one (62 %) and irregular dosing interval (47 %). Among drug interactions were 58 potentially inappropriate prescriptions for elderly patients, which accounted for 26.6 % of total prescriptions. Conclusions: there was a high incidence rate of problems associated with the use of digoxin in the elderly, so it is necessary to work together, meaning the physician, the pharmacist and the patient, in order to increase prescribing quality for the use of digoxin in the elderly.

Keywords : elderly patients; digoxin; drug interaction; potentially inappropiate prescriptions.

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