A team of researchers from the United States has recently conducted a retrospective cohort study to assess the prevalence of potentially harmful drugs amongst 40,966 patients diagnosed with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction HFREF, finding that 24.2% of patients had at least one of these medications prescribed (most commonly NSIADs – 67.4%, and antihypertensives – 24%, drugs for diabetes  – 23.3%, agents for neurological/psychiatric conditions – 21%, and antiarrhythmic medications – 12.6%. Further analysis demonstrated the implicated agents were prescribed more often in patients who were women, or who had these drugs prescribed in association with comorbidity. People with polypharmacy. were also over-represented. It was concluded that prescription of drugs that may cause or exacerbate heart failure is frequent and that incorporation of monitoring systems into medical records to detect and prevent unnecessary prescription of potentially harmful drugs in this context is important. The full details of the study can be viewed here.

Contributed by Australian Medication Safety Services Associate – Isabella Singh