International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 401–407 | Cite as

Characteristics of potential drug-related problems among oncology patients

  • Arjan BulsinkEmail author
  • Alex L. T. Imholz
  • Jacobus R. B. J. Brouwers
  • Frank G. A. Jansman
Research Article


Background Oncology patients are more at risk for drug related problems because of treatment with (combinations of) anticancer drugs, as they have a higher risk for organ failure or altered metabolism with progression of their disease. Objective The aim of this study was to characterize and to evaluate the frequency of potential drug related problems (pDRPs) among oncology patients. Setting Outpatient- and day-care centres for Internal and Pulmonary Medicine at the Deventer Hospital, Deventer, The Netherlands. Method A prospective, descriptive, observational study was carried out from March 2010 to March 2011 at the Deventer Hospital, Deventer, The Netherlands. All patients older than 18 years receiving anticancer drugs prescribed by an internal medicineoncologist or pulmonologist-oncologist were included. Main outcome measure The primary outcome was the number and type of pDRPs according to Dutch guidelines. Results Among 546 patients with cancer, 952 pDRPs were identified, of which 474 were oncology-related. These were mainly drug interactions (IA) (246 IA in 157 patients) and potential contraindications (pCI) (201 pCI in 143 patients). Conclusion Most identified pDRPs in cancer patients were IAs and pCIs and involved corticosteroids. The most frequently occurring oncology-related IAs were classified as minor or moderate levels of severity.


Contraindications Drug-drug interactions Drug-related problems Oncology The Netherlands 



The authors are grateful for the substantial contributions to this study of G.J. Altena, G.J. Borst, S.D. Boor and F. Karabulut, MSc students in pharmaceutical sciences, M.M. Voogel-Fuchs, staff member oncology, and of M.E.L. Arbouw, PharmD, PhD, Deventer Hospital, Deventer.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflicts of interest

No conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arjan Bulsink
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alex L. T. Imholz
    • 2
  • Jacobus R. B. J. Brouwers
    • 3
    • 4
  • Frank G. A. Jansman
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacy (E3.019)Deventer HospitalDeventerThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineDeventer HospitalDeventerThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacotherapy and Pharmaceutical CareGroningen UniversityGroningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of GeriatricsUniversity Medical Centre Utrecht-EphorUtrechtThe Netherlands

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