Prevalence of Potential Drug-Drug Interactions with Ritonavir-Containing Covid-19 Therapy

Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, 2023


Patients with COVID-19 receiving ritonavir-containing therapies are at risk of potential drug-drug interactions (pDDIs) because of ritonavir's effects on cytochrome P450 3A4. OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of pDDIs with ritonavir-containing COVID-19 therapy in adults with COVID-19 using the Optum Clinformatics Data Mart database.


In this retrospective, observational cohort study, patients with COVID-19 aged 18 years or older prescribed cytochrome P450 3A4-mediated medications with supply days overlapping the date of COVID-19 diagnosis between January 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, were classified as having pDDIs. pDDI was classified as contraindicated, major, moderate, or mild using established drug interaction resources. Prevalence of pDDIs with ritonavir-containing COVID-19 therapy was estimated for the entire cohort and in patient groups with high risk of severe COVID-19 progression or pDDIs. Actual COVID-19 treatments received by the patients, if any, were not considered. Outcomes were presented descriptively without adjusted comparisons.


A total of 718,387 patients with COVID-19 were identified. The age-sex standardized national prevalence of pDDIs of any severity was estimated at 52.2%. Approximately 34.5% were at risk of contraindicated or major pDDIs. Compared with patients without pDDI, patients exposed to pDDIs were older and more likely to be female, reside in long-term care facilities, and have risk factors for progression to severe COVID-19. Higher prevalence of major/contraindicated pDDIs was observed in older patients (76.1%), female patients (65.0%), and patients with multiple morbidities (84.6%).


Study findings demonstrate that more than one-third of patients with COVID-19 were at risk of significant pDDIs if treated with ritonavir-containing COVID-19 therapy and highlight the need to assess all patients with COVID-19 for pDDIs. Ritonavir-based therapies may not be appropriate for certain patient groups, and alternative therapies should be considered.

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Igho-Osagie E, Puenpatom A, Williams MG, Song Y, Yi D, Wang J, Berman R, Gu M, He C