Drug Induced Liver Injury in Geriatric Patients Detected by a Two-Hospital Prospective Pharmacovigilance Program: A Comprehensive Analysis Using the Roussel Uclaf Causality Assessment Method

Front Pharmacol. 2021 Feb 5;11:600255. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.600255. eCollection 2020.


Background/aim: A prospective evaluation of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) in two tertiary hospitals was conducted through a pharmacovigilance program from laboratory signals at hospital (PPLSH) to determine the principal characteristics of DILI in patients older than 65 years, a growing age group worldwide, which is underrepresented in the literature on DILI. Methods: All DILI in patients older than 65 years detected by PPLSH in two hospitals were followed up for 8 years in the La Paz Hospital and 2 years in the Getafe Hospital. A descriptive analysis was conducted that determined the causality of DILI and suspected drugs, the incidence of DILI morbidities, DILI characteristics, laboratory patterns, evolution and outcomes. Results: 458 DILI cases in 441 patients were identified, 31.0% resulting in hospitalisation and 69.0% developing during hospitalisation. The mean age was 76.61 years old (SD, 7.9), and 54.4% were women. The DILI incidence was 76.33/10,000 admissions (95%CI 60.78-95.13). Polypharmacy (taking >4 drugs) was present in 86.84% of patients, 39.68% of whom took >10 drugs. The hepatocellular phenotype was the most frequent type of DILI (53.29%), a higher proportion (65%) had a mild severity index, and, in 55.2% of the evaluated drugs the RUCAM indicated that the causal relationship was highly probable. The most frequently employed drugs were paracetamol (50-cases), amoxicillin-clavulanate (42-cases) and atorvastatin (37-cases). The incidence rate of in-hospital DILI per 10,000 DDDs was highest for piperacillin-tazobactam (66.96/10,000 DDDs). A higher risk of in-hospital DILI was associated with the therapeutic chemical group-J (antiinfectives for systemic use) (OR, 2.65; 95%CI 1.58-4.46) and group-N (central nervous system drugs) (OR, 2.33; 95%CI 1.26-4.31). The patients taking >4 medications presented higher maximum creatinine level (OR, 2.01; 95%CI 1.28-3.15), and the patients taking >10 medications had a higher use of group J drugs (OR, 2.08; 95%IC 1.31-3.32). Conclusion: The incidence rate of DILI in the patients older than 65 years was higher than expected. DILI in elderly patients is mild, has a good outcome, has a hepatocellular pattern, develops during hospitalisation, and prolongs the hospital stay. Knowing the DILI incidence and explanatory factors will help improve the therapy of the elderly population.

Keywords: adverse drug reaction; clinical pharmacology; drug-induced liver injury; elderly; pharmacovigilance; roussel uclaf causality assessment method.