Drug Interaction Database Sensitivity With Oral Antineoplastics: An Exploratory Analysis

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Purpose: Drug interactions are a concern in oncology with the shift toward oral antineoplastics (OAs). Using electronic databases to screen for drug interactions with OAs is a common practice. There is little literature to guide clinicians on the reliability of these systems with OAs. The primary objective of this study was to explore the sensitivity of commonly available drug interaction databases in detecting drug interactions with OAs.

Methods: A list of 20 drug interactions with OAs was developed by two Board-certified oncology pharmacists. The list included multiple types of drug interactions. The sensitivity in detecting these interactions by MicroMedex, Facts & Comparisons, Lexi-Interact, and Epocrates were evaluated. These databases were chosen based on their local availability and widespread use in practice. Drugs.com was evaluated as a surrogate for a patient-accessible drug interaction database. The Cochran Q test was used to assess the sensitivity distribution across the five groups.

Results: Lexi-Interact and Drugs.com had a sensitivity of 95% for the 20 tested drug interaction pairs. Epocrates had a sensitivity of 90%, and both Micromedex and Facts & Comparisons had a sensitivity of 70%. There was a statistically significant difference (P = .016) in the distribution across the databases in detecting clinically significant drug interactions.

Conclusion: Commonly used databases for identifying drug interactions with oral antineoplastics vary significantly in their sensitivity. Clinicians should not rely on a single database and should consider using multiple resources as well as sound clinical judgment. Further work is needed in this area.