Drug Metabolism And Elimination In The Elderly Population Santa Fe Nursing Essay

1242 words - 5 pages

Drug Metabolism and Elimination in the Elderly
Kristi Johns
Santa Fe College
Pharmacology NUR3145
Professor Teresa Goodman
May 27, 2018
Drug Metabolism and Elimination in the Elderly
Drugs or medications have become an everyday part of life in the world today, whether you’re young or old, or have a little cold or a terminal diagnosis. Medications have different functions and uses, each person reacts to them differently, and each age group processes and eliminates them differently. “Persons 65 years and above will be the fastest-growing segment of the population in the United States for the next 4 decades primarily because of the migration of the baby boom generation into this age group with steadily increasing life expectancy” (Lau, Schlender, Abernathy, Burckart, Golden, Slattum, Stegemann, & Eissing, 2017, p. 277). For the elderly, this process is slower, as is everything with the geriatric population. As stated by Falzone, Hoffmann, and Keita (2013), “relative to younger people, older people have limited physiological reserves and less effective compensatory mechanisms to deal with unwanted adverse effects of drugs” (p. 82). With age the body slows down, and with that the way drugs are metabolized and eliminated from the body are also slower. “Elderly patients with multiple medical problems who are taking multiple drugs, those who have a history of adverse drug reactions, and those with a reduced capacity to eliminate drugs are at a high risk for adverse drug reactions” (Alomar, 2014, p. 85). In this paper, the author will discuss the alteration in drug metabolism and elimination that occur in geriatric patients and how it relates to pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacogenetics.
Pharmacotherapeutics is defined as the study of the therapeutic uses and effects of drugs. In relation to the elderly some of the drugs that might once have been therapeutic when they were younger may no longer be the case. These medications may either have to be decreased because they could be toxic in high doses or may need an alternative that has the same effect but will not cause harm to the patient. It is important for the nurse as well as the patient to understand and know the medications that are being administered to prevent drug reactions from occurring. One of the sources a health care professional can use is the BEERS list, which is a list “of potentially inappropriate medications to be avoided in older adults” (American Geriatrics Society [AGS], 2015, p. 1). This list was created to help decrease the risk of adverse reactions and poor health outcomes, such as mortality. Also, with older adults when drugs are created there should be some extra consideration to promote safe medication administration. A way to help achieve therapeutic outcomes is “patient-centric pharmaceutical drug product design thus tailors the product to...

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