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Revista Colombiana de Reumatología

Print version ISSN 0121-8123


LAVERDE, Luis Alfonso et al. Intervention on the prescribing of alendronate in higher than recommended doses. Rev.Colomb.Reumatol. [online]. 2016, vol.23, n.3, pp.155-158. ISSN 0121-8123.

Introduction: The aim of the study is to identify patients with inappropriate prescriptions of alendronate (70 mg) and to use an educational intervention to reduce medication errors. Methods: A quasi-experimental, prospective before and after study was conducted, without a control group, where an intervention was conducted on prescribers of patients on pharmacological treatment with alendronate 70 mg in the period from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. All subjects receiving more than 4 tablets per month were included. The intervention was to provide updated information to those responsible for health care and then assess whether or not they modified the patient prescription. Results: Out of a total of 2,283 patients receiving alendronate, it was found that a mean of 105 patients per month diagnosed with osteoporosis received the presentation of 70 mg. The mean age was 66.0 ± 5.5 years, and the large majority (n =159; 95.8%) were female. A mean of 22 patients were dispensed with more than 4 tablets per month (range: 8-38 tablets/month). The intervention managed to reduce those with a higher than recommended doses to 8 patients (63.6% of cases). Insurers were paying COP $459,166 more on average each month for excess tablets dispensed, and the intervention achieved savings of COP $3,491,592 per year. Conclusions: Educational interventions on prescribers can reduce the number of potentially inappropriate prescribing and medication errors and reduce the risk to patients and health care costs.

Keywords : Alendronate; Drugs overdose; Medication errors; Deprescribing; Pharmacovigilance.

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