Research Abstracts

The Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy 2002;11:407.

Medication Interruption In Surgical Patients

Karen Dahri B.Sc.(Pharm), Glen Brown, Pharm.D. 

Department of Pharmacy , St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (British Columbia Branch) Residency Research Presentation Night, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. May 8, 2002.


The purpose of the study was to determine if patients are missing regular medications post-operatively and if the missing medications lead the patient to experience drug withdrawal or symptom recurrence that may or may not exacerbate post-operative complications.


A Canadian teaching hospital.


A 6-month retrospective review comparing patient's medications while in hospital to their medications prior to admission. PharmaNet was used to determine the patient's regular medications prior to admission. If discrepancies between the two lists were found, and the medications could be classified as chronic therapies, the patient's clinical record was evaluated to determine if any subjective or objective evidence of drug withdrawal had occurred.


Forty-three percent of the 47 patients included in the study had medications they were taking prior to admission missing. Three patients (6%) were found to have suffered clinically significant consequences as a result of missing prior medications. The medication class that was most often missed was antidepressants.


Our study population was not large enough to determine the statistical significance of the results. If these results were to occur in a larger sample population we would be able to conclude that undertaking medication histories for all our patients would be a worthwhile endeavour.

Copyright © 2002 by the Journal of Informed Pharmacotherapy. All rights reserved.