Polypharmacy and drug-drug interactions in older and younger people living with HIV: The POPPY study

Marie O. Halloran, Catherine Boyle, Emmanouil Bagkeris, Paddy Mallon, Frank A. Post, Jamie Vera, Ian Williams, Jane Anderson, Alan Winston, Memory Sachikonye, Caroline Sabin, Marta Boffito

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Polypharmacy (use of ≥ five medications) increases the risk of drug-drug interactions and can lead to negative health outcomes. This study aimed to review the medications of people living with HIV (PLWH) and HIV-negative controls in the POPPY study and evaluate the frequency of polypharmacy and potential drug-drug interactions (PDDIs). Methods: PDDIs between non-antiretroviral (ARV) drugs were analysed using the Lexicomp database, and PDDIs between non-ARV and ARV drugs using the Liverpool drug interaction database. Between-group differences were assessed using c2, Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results: This analysis included 698 PLWH ≥50 years, 374 PLWH <50 years and 304 HIV-negative controls ≥50 years. The prevalence of polypharmacy was 65.8% in older PLWH, 48.1% in younger PLWH and 13.2% in the HIV-negative group. When ARVs were excluded, 29.8% of older PLWH and 14.2% of younger PLWH had polypharmacy. The prevalence of ≥1 PDDI involving non-ARV drugs was 36.1%, 20.3% and 16.4%, respectively, in older PLWH, younger PLWH and HIV-negative controls. In PLWH the prevalence of ≥1 PDDI involving ARV and non-ARV drugs was 57.3% in older PLWH and 32.4% in younger PLWH. Conclusions: Polypharmacy and PDDIs involving non-ARV/ ARV drugs and non-ARV/non-ARV drugs were common among older PLWH, highlighting the need for increased awareness and additional research on all types of PDDI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalAntiviral Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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