Background: Drug interactions represent a major issue in clinical settings, especially for critically ill patients such as those with cardiovascular disease (CVD) who require cardiothoracic surgery (CTS) and receive a high number of different medications. Methods: A cross-sectional study aimed at evaluating the exposure and clinical significance of drug–drug (DDIs) and drug–dietary supplement interactions (DDSIs) in patients admitted for CTS in the University Hospital of Crete Greece. DDIs were evaluated regarding underlying pharmacological mechanisms upon admission, preoperation, postoperation, and discharge from CTS clinic. Additionally, upon admission, the use of dietary supplements (DSs) and if patients had informed their treating physician that they were using these were recorded with subsequent analysis of potential DDSIs with prescribed medications. Results: The study employed 76 patients who were admitted for CTS and accepted to participate. Overall, 166 unique DDIs were identified, with 32% of them being related to pharmacokinetic (PK) processes and the rest (68%) were related to possible alterations of pharmacodynamic (PD) action. CVD medications and drugs for central nervous system disorders were the most frequently interacting medications. In total, 12% of the identified DDIs were of serious clinical significance. The frequency of PK-DDIs was higher during admission and discharge, whereas PD-DDIs were mainly recorded during pre- and postoperation periods. Regarding DS usage, 60% of patients were using DSs and perceived them as safe, and the majority had not informed their treating physician of this or sought out medical advice. Analysis of medical records showed 30 potential combinations with prescribed medications that could lead in DDSIs due to modulation of PK or PD processes, and grapefruit juice consumption was involved in 38% of them. Conclusions: An increased burden of DDIs and DDSIs was identified mostly upon admission for patients in CTS clinics in Greece. Healthcare providers, especially prescribing physicians in Greece, should always take into consideration the possibility of DDIs and the likely use of DS products by patients to promote their well-being; this should only be undertaken after receiving medical advice and an evidenced-based evaluation.
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