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EFFECTIVENESS OF AN AMIODARONE PROTOCOL AND MANAGEMENT CLINIC IN IMPROVING ADHERENCE TO AMIODARONE MONITORING GUIDELINES
Maqual R Graham, Marcia A Wright, and Harold J Manley

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OBJECTIVE: To determine whether adherence to suggested monitoring parameters improved as a result of the development and implementation of an amiodarone protocol and management clinic. Adverse effects from amiodarone therapy were also evaluated to ascertain whether the Amiodarone Management Clinic (AMC) better identified adverse events as a result of improved monitoring.

METHODS: A retrospective review of charts of patients with an active amiodarone prescription was conducted. Patients were identified as enrolled in the AMC (intervention) or as receiving standard medical care (control) by nonpharmacist practitioners. Compliance with recommended monitoring parameters, including the presence of interacting medications and associated drug concentration or international normalized ratio (INR), was assessed for all patients and then compared between groups. Type and frequency of adverse effects were determined for both groups.

RESULTS: Two hundred twenty-five charts were reviewed; 154 and 71 patients were assigned to the intervention and control groups, respectively. One hundred one (66%) patients in the intervention group were considered compliant with thyroid function monitoring compared with 26 patients (37%) in the control group (p < 0.0001). One hundred six (69%) and 27 (38%) patients in the intervention and control groups, respectively, were deemed compliant with liver function monitoring (p < 0.0001). Intervention patients taking warfarin were more likely to have blood drawn for INR assessment; however, there was no difference in values between groups. Seventy-six patients had a documented adverse effect from amiodarone, 68 of whom were from the intervention group (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Many patients receiving amiodarone are not managed according to published guidelines. Implementation of a pharmacist-managed protocol and clinic significantly improved compliance with 2 of the 3 parameters needing continuous monitoring. Although more adverse effects were documented for intervention patients, it is unclear whether the AMC actually improved the event detection rate.

J Pharm Technol 2004;20:5-10.

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