Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Online ISSN : 1347-5215
Print ISSN : 0918-6158
ISSN-L : 0918-6158
Regular Articles
Adherence and Concomitant Medication Use among Patients on Warfarin Therapy: Insight from a Large Pharmacy Dispensing Database in Japan
Masato TakeuchiSayuri NakanoSachiko Tanaka-MizunoChika NishiyamaYuko DoiMasaru AraiYosuke FujiiToshiyuki MatsunagaKoji Kawakami
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2019 Volume 42 Issue 3 Pages 389-393


Warfarin is a drug used for anticoagulation management, with a narrow therapeutic range and multiple drug–drug interactions. Adherence and proper use of concomitant medication are thus fundamental to the efficacy and safety of warfarin therapy. In 2012, we retrospectively analyzed data from three large-scale pharmacy chains in Japan. We included all adults (≥ 20 years old) with at least one record of warfarin dispensation. We examined patient demographic data, adherence as measured by medication possession ratio (MPR), and co-dispensation focusing on the number of concomitant dispensations and concurrent use of medications that increase bleeding risk. Thresholds of underadherence and overadherence were set at <0.9 and >1.1, considering the narrow therapeutic window. We reviewed 443007 warfarin dispensation records of 71340 individuals (median age, 73 years; 62% male). The MPR was 1.0 (interquartile range: 0.96–1.0), and underadherence and overadherence was found in 16.3 and 1.9% of individuals, respectively. The median number of co-dispensed drugs was eight at each pharmacy encounter, which did not differ by age group. Drugs associated with a high bleeding risk were dispensed in 40.0% of encounters and accounted for 16.4% of all co-dispensed drugs. In summary, we found optimal overall adherence, as assessed by MPR, among our Japanese study population, even when defining a strict cut-off value. However, polypharmacy was common in all age groups and medications with a high bleeding risk profile were often co-dispensed with warfarin. Future research addressing how these dispensation patterns affect patient outcome is warranted.

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© 2019 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
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