Medication discrepancies in late-stage chronic kidney disease

J. Ibrahim
A. D. Hazzan, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
A. T. Mathew, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
V. Sakhiya
M. Zhang, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
C. Halinski, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
S. Fishbane, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell


© The Author 2017. Background: Late-stage chronic kidney disease (LS-CKD) can be defined by glomerular filtration rate (GFR) 0-30mL/min. It is a period of risk for medication discrepancies because of frequent hospitalizations, fragmented medical care, inadequate communication and polypharmacy. In this study, we sought to characterize medication discrepancies in LS-CKD. Methods: We analyzed all patients enrolled in Northwell Health's Healthy Transitions in LS-CKD program. All patients had estimated GFR 0-30mL/min, not on dialysis. Medications were reviewed by a nurse at a home visit. Patients' medication usage and practice were compared with nephrologists' medication lists, and discrepancies were characterized. Patients were categorized as having either no discrepancies or one or more. Associations between patient characteristics and number of medication discrepancies were evaluated by chi-square or Fisher's exact test for categorical variables, and two-sample t-test or Wilcoxon text for continuous variables. Results: Seven hundred and thirteen patients with a median age of 70 (interquartile range 58-79) years were studied. There were 392 patients (55.0% of the study population) with at least one medication discrepancy. The therapeutic classes of medications with most frequently occurring medication discrepancies were cardiovascular, vitamins, bone and mineral disease agents, diuretics, analgesics and diabetes medications. In multivariable analysis, factors associated with higher risk of discrepancies were congestive heart failure [odds ratio (OR) 2.13; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.44-3.16; P = 0.0002] and number of medications (OR 1.29; 95% CI 1.21-1.37; P<0.0001). Conclusions: Medication discrepancies are common in LS-CKD, affect the majority of patients and include high-risk medication classes. Congestive heart failure and total number of medications are independently associated with greater risk for multiple drug discrepancies. The frequency of medication discrepancies indicates a need for great care in medication management of these patients.