Concordance of severity ratings provided in four drug interaction compendia

Jacob Abarca, Daniel C. Malone, Edward P. Armstrong, Amy J. Grizzle, Philip D. Hansten, Robin C. Van Bergen, Richard B. Lipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the agreement among drug-drug interaction (DDI) compendia as to designation of interactions as having the greatest clinical importance ("major" DDIs). Design: Cross-sectional, one-time evaluation. Setting: United States in fall 2001. Participants: Not applicable. Interventions: Major DDIs involving prescription medications likely to be dispensed in the community and ambulatory pharmacy settings were identified as listed in four compendia that provide specific, detailed information about DDIs (Drug Interaction Facts, Drug Interactions: Analysis and Management, Evaluations of Drug Interactions, and the MicroMedex DRUG-REAX program). Main Outcome Measure: Level of agreement between DDI compendia as assessed by the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Results: Overall, 406 major DDIs were listed in one or more of the four compendia. Only 9 (2.2%) of these major DDIs were listed in all four compendia; in fact, the majority of interactions were listed in only one compendium (291 DDIs, 71.7%), despite these interactions being considered of greatest clinical relevance by at least one compendium. The ICC among the compendia was -0.092, indicating low agreement on the classification of major DDIs. Conclusion: Little agreement exists among commonly used drug interaction compendia for DDIs that were classified in fall 2001 as having the highest clinical relevance and importance. A concerted effort to identify DDIs of the highest clinical importance is needed to design effective strategies to avoid and manage them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


  • Drug utilization review
  • Drug-drug interactions
  • Medication errors
  • Patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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