(Vienna, 16-09-2022) Undesirable side effects and interactions often occur if medication is combined adversely or dosed too high. This can lead to the point where a readmission to hospital is necessary. In order to provide patients with customised drug therapies tailored to their individual circumstances, Austria's first special outpatient clinic for drug therapy and interaction has been established at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the AKH Vienna and MedUni Vienna. Recently, the services of the special outpatient clinic, which was already established at the AKH Vienna in 2017, have also been available to patients outside the AKH Vienna.
Particularly in patients who have several diseases at the same time and need to take different drugs, as well as in patients with limited organ function, such as renal insufficiency, undesirable drug interactions or side effects can occur quickly.
"Drugs help patients to cure illnesses, alleviate pain or prevent the worsening of a disease. However, they can also quickly become a stumbling block in the success of treatment," says Martina Anditsch, pharmaceutical manager of the special outpatient clinic for drug therapy and interaction and head of the hospital pharmacy at AKH Vienna. A comprehensive and individual medication analysis facilitates the optimal medicines to be used in the correct dosage.
Based on laboratory data and a patient interview, drug interactions and their effects are analysed in detail at the special outpatient clinic and a tailor-made drug therapy is generated. For example, a different active ingredient may be more tolerable for the patient or adjusting the dosage may reduce side effects and interactions. Switching to a different form of medication can also help to improve the patient's situation. It is also important that patients are informed about the active ingredients and how to take them, especially if medication has to be taken regularly over a longer period of time.
At the Special Outpatient Clinic for Drug Therapy and Interaction, experts from the medicine and clinical pharmacy departments work together on an interdisciplinary basis and are available not only to patients, but also to the treatment teams of the university hospitals of AKH Vienna and MedUni Vienna with specific expertise on the subject of drugs. At the special outpatient clinic, the treatment teams can quickly and easily obtain a second opinion on a patient's planned drug therapy.
Recently, the services of the Special Outpatient Clinic for Drug Therapy and Interaction have been available not only to inpatients and outpatients of the AKH Vienna, but also to external patients. "If patients have problems with their medication or experience effects that are unclear with respect to their origin, referring physicians such as general practitioners can obtain a second opinion from the special outpatient clinic," says Anditsch.
The services offered by the Special Outpatient Clinic for Drug Therapy and Interaction will be presented on the occasion of Patient Safety Day (17 September) on the following Monday, 19 September 2022 in the Meeting Point Hall at AKH Vienna. Interested patients and staff will also be informed by the University Clinic for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Control on how best to protect themselves against a Covid-19 infection.