Drug-drug interaction software in clinical practice: a systematic review

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2015 Feb;71(2):131-42. doi: 10.1007/s00228-014-1786-7. Epub 2014 Dec 23.


Purpose: Several electronic databases which report the prevalence of drug-drug interactions (DDIs) are used as a tool for evaluation of potentially harmful DDIs. The aim of our review was to evaluate the usability and appropriateness of commercially available electronic databases which assess the prevalence of potential DDIs.

Methods: The systematic electronic literature search was conducted with the following search terms: "database" AND "software," and "drug-drug interactions" AND "database," and the inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied in order to identify the publications of interest.

Results: A total of 3766 papers were identified by systematic search. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 38 publications were included in the analysis. The most commonly used software in the included studies was Micromedex® Drug-Reax, for which some authors argue to be the most reliable due to highest sensitivity. It gives information about clinical consequences of DDIs, classifies underlying mechanism and onset of the adverse outcome (either rapid, or delayed) as well as severity (such as minor, moderate, or major), and provides the level of evidence which supports this information. This data is also provided by Drug Interaction Facts®, Lexi-Interact®, and Pharmavista®. A small number of studies which compared assessment of DDIs with electronic database and the clinician's assessment showed large discrepancy in number and relevance of detected DDIs. The overlap was in some cases as low as 11 %.

Conclusion: The deficiency of clinical relevance of detected DDIs should be addressed in the upcoming research as it would provide more relevant information to the prescribers' in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Pharmaceutical
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Software*