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Psychopharmacology 

Psychopharmacology
Chapter:
Psychopharmacology
Author(s):

Delia Bishara

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198807292.003.0013
Page of

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date: 24 October 2021

The use of pharmacological agents in older adults is one of the most complex aspects of patient care. Clinicians must display expert knowledge on and careful consideration of the various factors involved. Older people exhibit an unexpected or exaggerated response to drug therapy when compared to their younger counterparts of the same body weight and gender. Often this response is explained through pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic changes. Understanding the common physiological changes seen in ageing is helpful in anticipating the changes expected in pharmacokinetic parameters. The pharmacodynamic variations seen in older patients may also increase or decrease sensitivity to a drug independently of the pharmacokinetic changes. In addition, age is known to be associated with increased prevalence of multiple chronic illnesses frequently requiring the use of complex therapeutic regimens, thus increasing the risk for adverse drug reactions and drug interactions in older people.

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