A word from the College library

Drug interaction checker

Adverse drug events are frequent, experienced by approximately 3% of hospitalized patients in Canada.1 A large proportion is preventable as they are due to inappropriate prescribing and drug-drug interactions.2 On-demand drug interaction checker software can support physicians’ efforts to optimize prescribing and avoid “alert fatigue” arising from computer-triggered alerts.3 The College library now provides online access to a drug-drug interaction checker, Lexi-Interact, which is part of a larger online information resource called e-Therapeutics+. e-Therapeutics+ includes the CPS (compendium of pharmaceuticals and specialties), Therapeutic Choices, Lexi-Interact, and patient information. Library users can access Lexi-Interact through e-Therapeutics+ on the College library’s point of care and drug tools page.

On the e-Therapeutics+ home page, select the Drug Interactions tab to open Lexi-Interact as shown below:

Lexi-Interact identifies drug-drug interactions with good sensitivity and specificity.4 A risk rating is provided for each interaction and, importantly, a summary of the nature of the interaction and recommendations for patient management are offered, providing background and context for decision making. Lexi-Interact can both analyze a specific drug combination for potential interactions or display all interactions for a selected medication. The discussion of each drug-drug interaction is relatively detailed and citations to supporting evidence is provided. Lexi-Interact, through e-Therapeutics+, is web-based. An app is not yet available. The College library subscribes to e-Therapeutics+, through eHLbc, a provincial library consortium.

For further information, please contact library staff at medlib@cpsbc.ca or 604-733-6671.

  1. Baker GR, Norton PG, Flintoft V, Blais R, Brown A, Cox J, Etchells E, Ghali WA, Hébert P, Majumdar SR, O'Beirne M, Palacios-Derflingher L, Reid RJ, Sheps S, Tamblyn R. The Canadian Adverse Events Study: the incidence of adverse events among hospital patients in Canada. CMAJ. 2004 May 25;170(11):1678-86.
  2. Magro L, Moretti U, Leone R. Epidemiology and characteristics of adverse drug reactions caused by drug-drug interactions. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2012 Jan;11(1):83-94.
  3. Beeler PE, Eschmann E, Rosen C, Blaser J. Use of an on-demand drug-drug interaction checker by prescribers and consultants: a retrospective analysis in a Swiss teaching hospital. Drug Saf. 2013 Jun;36(6):427-34.
  4. Reis AM, Cassiani SH. Evaluation of three brands of drug interaction software for use in intensive care units. Pharm World Sci. 2010 Dec;32(6):822-8.