Change in prescription pattern as a potential marker for adverse drug reactions of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors
International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy , Volume 37 - Issue 6 p. 1095- 1103
Background Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) are among the most frequently prescribed groups of medications. ACEI-induced adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are the main reason to discontinue or switch ACEI treatment. ADRs information is not available in prescription databases. Objective To identify a proxy for ACEI-induced ADRs in prescription databases. Setting The Rotterdam Study is an ongoing prospective cohort study that started in 1990 in the Netherlands and has included 14,926 subjects aged 45 years or older. Methods All ACEI starters from 2000 to 2011 were identified using prescription data within the Rotterdam Study. Participants were classified into 4 mutually exclusive groups: continuing, discontinuing, switching to angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and switching to other antihypertensives. For categorization, the maximum time-interval between two prescription periods was set at 3 and 6 months. Subsequently, primary care physician files were searched and clinical events were classified as definite ADRs, probable ADRs, possible ADRs and definite non-ADRs. Finally the accuracy of different prescription patterns as indicators of ADRs was evaluated. Main outcome measure Positive predictive values (PPVs), negative predictive values (NPVs), sensitivity and specificity of the prescription patterns of the 4 groups were calculated. Results Totally, 1132 ACEI starters were included. The PPV for a definite ADR was 56.1 % for switchers to ARB, while the PPVs for switchers to other antihypertensives, and discontinuation were 39.5 and 19.5 %, respectively. After including probable ADRs and possible ADRs, PPVs for switchers to ARB increased to 68.3 and 90.5 %. A 6-month interval gave slightly higher PPVs compared to a 3-month interval (maximum 6.1 % higher). The differences in NPVs between 3 and 6-months interval groups were approximately 1.0 %. Conclusions Switching ACEIs to ARBs is the best marker for ACEI-induced ADRs in prescription databases.