Duplicate Therapy checks for therapeutic duplication between drugs by cross referencing the ATC codes (Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical codes) as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO). For example if prescribing a medication that contains codeine this module will check existing prescriptions for that patient and warn the prescriber if one of these contains codeine as well.
Duplicate Therapy checks for therapeutic duplication between drugs by cross referencing the ATC codes (Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical codes) as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The coding system is hierarchical, which makes it possible to have different levels of classification. These levels enable a health professional to check if a patient is being given two medications to treat the same condition or two medications that have the same action.
As with Drug Interactions, Duplicate Therapy takes the route of administration into account so that there is no duplication if a patient uses a drug topically and ingests a comparable drug for another ailment.
Example of the ATC hierarchy
The following table gives an example of the ATC hierarchy:
|A||Alimentary tract and metabolism
(1st level, anatomical main group)
|A10||Drugs used in diabetes
(2nd level, therapeutic subgroup)
|A10B||Oral blood glucose lowering drugs
(3rd level, pharmacological subgroup)
(4th level, chemical subgroup)
(5th level, chemical substance)
The greater the duplication of codes, the higher the level of duplicate therapy. In these cases, it is up to the clinician to determine whether to prescribe the medication.
A patient is prescribed Potassium-Sodium Oral Liquid. The patient’s medication history indicates that the patient is currently taking Perindopril Erbumine for hypertension.
|Medication History||Potassium – Sodium Oral Liquid|
Alert: The Molecule perindopril erbumine causes additive toxicity with potassium.
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