Dosages for the Elderly

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Special caution is advised when prescribing drugs
for elderly patients. Keep the following points in
mind when prescribing drugs for patients of
approximately 60 years or older:

1) Renal Function: Glomerular filtration rate, renal tubular secretion and blood flow tend to decrease with advancing age, while the incidence of renal pathology increases.


2) Drug Sensitivity: Elderly patients may show unusual sensitivity or paradoxical reactions to a number of drugs. Refer to the complete prescribing information.


3) Drug Distribution: The ratio of fat to lean body weight may increase in the elderly, which affects the volume of distribution of fat-soluble drugs. Plasma albumin concentrations may be decreased in the elderly. This potentiates plasma-protein bound drugs and increases the potential for drug interactions caused by plasma-protein displacement.


4) Polypharmacy: It is important to determine the patient's current medication use, including nonprescription products, before adding any medication to determine any possible interactions.


5) Hepatic Function: Reduced function of metabolic enzymes in the liver may occur in the elderly.

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