Interactions: Next steps in learning...

Last updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017


You may have questions about the role that cytochrome p450 enzymes play in drug metabolism. A review that may answer a number of these was published in Pharmacology & Therapeutics in 2013. This is a lengthy and complex scientific paper, not really a clinical one. But if you are prepared to browse through it, you will find answers to questions like: Which isoenzymes are most important for drug clearance? Does gender or age affect enzyme activity? etc.

Pharmacists are often asked about two potential outcomes of drug interactions that a wide range of medicines can cause. You may like to read more about these:

1. Prolonged QT interval. Here are two example online reviews that you may find helpful: Australian Prescriber (2015) and Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety (2012). These are quite technical papers so you may prefer to browse them, rather than reading right through. There is also a helpful Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin on the topic if you have access.

2. Serotonin syndrome. The journal American Family Physician (2010) has a helpful review article that may assist you.

Continuing professional development


Some CPD activities you could undertake include:

★  Have you ever found it difficult to talk to a doctor about an interaction? If so, reflect on why this was the case. How might you do it better next time?
★  Write up an account of an interaction that you managed in practice and present it as a case study at your work journal club, or as part of your diploma. Highlight how your intervention had an impact on patient care.
★  Sit down with a pharmacist colleague to discuss an interaction that you prevented or managed on your ward. Did your colleague agree with your approach? What did you learn from sharing your experiences?
★  Are there any aspects of this topic that make you feel uncertain, or where you know you need a better understanding? If so, then find a relevant review to read, and write up what you learn as a CPD exercise.


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