Causes of drug-related problems in the emergency room of a hospital in southern Brazil

Gac Sanit. 2011 Nov-Dec;25(6):501-6. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2011.05.016. Epub 2011 Aug 10.


Objective: To assess the frequency and types of drug-related problems (DRPs) in patients seeking emergency care in a teaching hospital in southern Brazil and to identify the possible causes and drugs involved in these problems.

Method: A cross-sectional study was performed, using a structured questionnaire for data collection. Multivariate logistic regression was used to control for possible confounding factors and to establish an independent association between the presence of DRPs and the amount of medication, patient's age and their educational level.

Results: A total of 350 patients were interviewed. The frequency of DRPs was 31.6%. Quantitative ineffectiveness was observed in 30.9% of DRPs and the main cause of the DRP was an inadequate dosing regimen. Sixty-six DRPs (53.7%) were caused by the health system or the health professionals. Factors independently influencing the development of DRPs were educational level and the number of drugs being taken.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that one-third of the patients attending the emergency room of our hospital had a drug-related problem, highlighting the importance of considering drugs as a possible cause of health problems and the need for their more rational use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Emergencies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Urban / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Polypharmacy
  • Self Medication / adverse effects
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult