Why Are Drug Doses Reduced In The Elderly?
When patients are senior, the amount of lipid soluble medications that can be metabolized by the liver is reduced, which is due to a reduction in liver volume. This is particularly relevant for medications having a limited therapeutic window of action.
Many pharmaceuticals have reduced metabolism and excretion, necessitating a reduction in the dosages of some medications used. It is possible that toxicity will develop slowly since the concentrations of persistently taken medications will grow for 5 to 6 half-lives before reaching a stable state.
Why do medications need to be reduced as we age?
It may be essential to cut the dose of some drugs that are processed by the liver as a result of a decline in liver function. Finally, the aging process has an impact on the manner in which medications are excreted (or removed) from the body.
What happens when older adults take five or more medications?
- Polypharmacy is a term used to describe when elderly persons take five or more medications at the same time.
- In the case of polypharmacy, the drugs may interact with one another as well as with your body in a negative way.
- For example, the drugs may exacerbate undesirable side effects while simultaneously diminishing benefits.
- Many elderly persons are prescribed various drugs by a variety of different doctors.
How do medications affect the liver in the elderly?
The amount of blood flowing through the liver, the size of the liver, and the activity of enzymes all diminish with age. These modifications can have an impact on the liver’s capacity to break down medicines in a way that allows them to be readily removed. It may be essential to cut the dose of some drugs that are processed by the liver as a result of a decline in liver function.
How does aging affect drug therapy for the elderly?
The relationship between the effects of aging and pharmacological therapy demonstrates the difficulties in selecting appropriate drugs for the elderly. It is crucial to use conservative doses, especially in the beginning, and to monitor patients closely. This should be highlighted by all health care professionals who work with the senior population.
Why are drug doses different for elderly patients?
When providing medications to elderly persons, it is very important to be cautious when establishing prescription dosages. It is possible that the proportionate increase in body fat compared to skeletal muscle with age will result in an increase in the volume of distribution.
How does age affect drug dosing?
Because of the effects of aging and chronic disease on liver size and blood flow, it is necessary to change the dosage of drugs that are largely processed by the liver.
What is the most common medication problem in the elderly?
Overdose, underdosage, improper therapy, poor monitoring, nonadherence, and drug interactions are all prevalent drug-related difficulties in older persons. These problems include ineffectiveness of medications as well as unpleasant drug effects. (See also Overview of Drug Therapy in Older Adults for further information.)
What factors can affect drug metabolism in the elderly?
The human liver undergoes a variety of important changes as a result of aging, including decreases in hepatic blood flow and size, as well as decreased levels of drug-metabolizing enzymes and pseudocapillarization. Complementary and concurrent diseases, frailty, concomitant medications, and (epi)genetics can all have an impact on drug metabolism.
How does pharmacokinetics change in the elderly?
Because ageing is related with a decline in first-pass metabolism, it may be possible to boost the bioavailability of a few medications. As we get older, our body fat grows, but our total body water and lean body mass both decrease.
How can elderly prevent medication errors?
- Read all prescription labels carefully and follow all instructions exactly as they are written.
- Maintain a strict routine.
- When seniors take a large number of prescriptions, it is easy to lose track of which medications they are taking, which is a major cause of overdoses.
- Encourage your elderly loved one to take his or her meds at the same time every day, such as with breakfast or before bed.
What are the barriers to effective medication management for older adults?
Cognitive decline, poor vision, and financial stress are all factors that make it difficult for older persons to maintain appropriate drug management.