Prevalence of Potential and Clinically Relevant Statin–Drug Interactions in Frail and Robust Older Inpatients

Michele Thai, Sarah Hilmer, Sallie Anne Pearson, Emily Reeve, Danijela Gnjidic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A significant proportion of older people are prescribed statins and are also exposed to polypharmacy, placing them at increased risk of statin–drug interactions. Objective: To describe the prevalence rates of potential and clinically relevant statin–drug interactions in older inpatients according to frailty status. Methods: A cross-sectional study of patients aged ≥65 years who were prescribed a statin and were admitted to a teaching hospital between 30 July and 10 October 2014 in Sydney, Australia, was conducted. Data on socio-demographics, comorbidities and medications were collected using a standardized questionnaire. Potential statin–drug interactions were defined if listed in the Australian Medicines Handbook and three international drug information sources: the British National Formulary, Drug Interaction Facts and Drug-Reax®. Clinically relevant statin–drug interactions were defined as interactions with the highest severity rating in at least two of the three international drug information sources. Frailty was assessed using the Reported Edmonton Frail Scale. Results: A total of 180 participants were recruited (median age 78 years, interquartile range 14), 35.0 % frail and 65.0 % robust. Potential statin–drug interactions were identified in 10 % of participants, 12.7 % of frail participants and 8.5 % of robust participants. Clinically relevant statin–drug interactions were identified in 7.8 % of participants, 9.5 % of frail participants and 6.8 % of robust participants. Depending on the drug information source used, the prevalence rates of potential and clinically relevant statin–drug interactions ranged between 14.4 and 35.6 % and between 14.4 and 20.6 %, respectively. Conclusion: In our study of frail and robust older inpatients taking statins, the overall prevalence of potential statin–drug interactions was low and varied significantly according to the drug information source used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-856
Number of pages8
JournalDrugs & Aging
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Cite this