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Research Article

Academia Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 8(12): 001-008, December 2020
DOI: 10.15413/ajpp.2020.0109
ISSN 2315-7828
©2020 Academia Publishing


Optimization of the management of essential drugs in the COVID-19 pandemic through mathematical correlations

Accepted 20th November, 2020

Echeverría-Esnal Daniel1, De Antonio-Cuscó Marta1, Fernández-Sala Xènia1, Barceló-Vidal Jaime1, Navarrete-Rouco Maria Eugenia1, Acin Pablo1, López-Mula Carlos1, Rio-No Laura1, Comella-Anaya Laura1, Rodriguez-Alarcón Alicia1, Vázquez A2, Masclans Joan Ramón2, Ferrández Olivia1 and Grau Santiago1,3*.

1Pharmacy Department, Hospital del Mar, Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain.
2Intensive Care Unit, Hospital del Mar, Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, España.
3Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.


The Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) led to an exponential increase in the number of people affected, with a higher need for ICU admission in those of greater severity. In this context, the risk of drug shortages of essential ICU drugs increases. An accurate knowledge on the consumption of these medications is therefore needed to foresee future COVID-19 outbreaks or other pandemics. The aim of the study was to describe the consumption of commonly used ICU drugs, which were essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to analyse their correlation with the number of admitted patients. This was a retrospective observational study conducted in the ICU of a 420-bed tertiary care hospital in Barcelona, Spain from 14th March to 30th April, 2020. Drugs analysed included morphine, sufentanil, cisatracurium, norepinephrine, dexmedetomidine, rocuronium, propofol and midazolam. A total of 159 patients were admitted to the COVID-19 ICU during the study period. The consumption of all the analysed drugs was significantly increased compared to the previous year: norepinephrine 118.7%, midazolam 285.2%, propofol 190%, dexmedetomidine 147.0%, sufentanil 665.6%, morphine 56.2% and cisatracurium 369.7. On the day of higher consumption, at least two-fold higher consumption compared to the median of all period was detected. The average daily dose for each drug was: propofol 3,050.3 (736.1) mg, cisatracurium 292.4 (128.9) mg, midazolam 203.6 (64.0) mg, morphine 39.3 (6.6) mg, norepinephrine 16.7 (5.2) mg, sufentanil 1.2 (0.3) mg, dexmedetomidine 0.9 (0.4) mg. A positive and significant correlation was observed in all drugs with both the number of treated and admitted patients. A striking increase in the drug consumption of 56.2-665% was noticed throughout the study period. There was a significant correlation between the consumption of essential drugs in the ICU and the number of critically ill patients. These findings allow the optimization of the management of essential drugs for critically ill patients and prevent the development of drug shortages in future outbreaks of pandemics.

Key words: COVID-19, intensive care unit, propofol, cisatracurium, norepinephrine, drug shortage, correlation.

This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite this article as:

Daniel EE, Marta DA, Xènia FS, Jaime B, Eugenia NM, Pablo A, Carlos L, Laura R, Laura C, Alicia R, Vazquez A, Ramón MJ, Olivia F, Santiago G (2018). Optimization of the management of essential drugs in the COVID-19 pandemic through mathematical correlations. Acad. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 8(12): 001-008.

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