A patient’s overall health status determines the patient’s ability to undergo dental care. Consequently, patient-specific problems that may interfere with the clinical process must be identified. In determining perioperative risk, clinicians must consider past and present illnesses, major hospitalizations, drug allergies and other adverse drug reactions (ADRs), dietary supplements and special diets, and medications taken by the patient.1

In the U.S. there are approximately 500 FDA-approved active ingredients (therapeutic agents) in several thousand different formulations. ClinCalc DrugStats provides prescription drug utilization data estimates based on the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) conducted annually.2 The list of Top Prescription Drugs of 2017 reflects data collected in 2014 and is based on more than 3 billion out-patient prescriptions.2

The Top 200 Prescription Drugs dispensed by U. S. community pharmacies represent 40% of the available 500 active ingredients and comprise 90% of all drugs taken by ambulatory patients.2 The Top 300 Prescription Drugs represent 60% of the available 500 active ingredients and comprise 97% of all drugs taken by ambulatory patients.2 These data are invaluable in identifying patient-specific risks factors in ambulatory settings.

The Top 300 Drugs of 2017 include 64 agents, prescribed primarily by physicians, for the treatment of conditions affecting the central nervous system (CNS). In relation to these drugs, minimum competency by oral healthcare providers assumes knowledge in the following four areas: (1) recognition of drugs by name (brand/generic); (2) indications for their use; (3) familiarity with potential ADRs; and (4) the use of informational resources.

DailyMed is the official repository for FDA-approved package inserts, i.e., for individual drug-related, clinically relevant data.3 The information is the most recent submitted to the FDA by pharmaceutical companies and includes strengthened warnings undergoing FDA review. The information is accurate; whenever possible it is based on human experience, and does not contain promotional or misleading information such as implied claims.