OBJECTIVE To evaluate the incidence of potential drug-drug interactions in an intensive care unit of a hospital, focusing on antimicrobial drugs. METHODS This cross-sectional study analyzed electronic prescriptions of patients admitted to the intensive care unit of a teaching hospital between January 1 and March 31, 2014 and assessed potential drug-drug interactions associated with antimicrobial drugs. Antimicrobial drug consumption levels were expressed in daily doses per 100 patient-days. The search and classification of the interactions were based on the Micromedex® system. RESULTS The daily prescriptions of 82 patients were analyzed, totaling 656 prescriptions. Antimicrobial drugs represented 25% of all prescription drugs, with meropenem, vancomycin and ceftriaxone being the most prescribed medications. According to the approach of daily dose per 100 patient-days, the most commonly used antimicrobial drugs were cefepime, meropenem, sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim and ciprofloxacin. The mean number of interactions per patient was 2.6. Among the interactions, 51% were classified as contraindicated or significantly severe. Highly significant interactions (clinical value 1 and 2) were observed with a prevalence of 98%. CONCLUSION The current study demonstrated that antimicrobial drugs are frequently prescribed in intensive care units and present a very high number of potential drug-drug interactions, with most of them being considered highly significant.