Geriatric Patients

The use of drugs in elderly patients is another challenging area of clinical practice.7-9 The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs are altered by age-related physiologic changes. The increased incidence of multiple chronic illnesses, the disproportionately high use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, inadequate nutrition, and poor adherence also contribute to the problem and lead to more adverse drug effects among the elderly.

Therapeutic target concentrations of drugs in the elderly population are also difficult to define because of marked inter-individual variations. Conservative dosing and close monitoring for dose-related effects is imperative. Information on a specific drug prescribed to the elderly can be found in the “Dosage and Administration,” “Contraindications,” “Warning and Precautions” and “Adverse Effects” sections; and in the “Geriatric use” subsection of individual drug labeling.3