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Medication Use in the Elderly Patient: Physiology, Pharmacology, and Prescribing

Medication Use in the Elderly Patient: Physiology, Pharmacology, and Prescribing

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
Anthony Caprio, MPH, Debra Bynum, MPH
Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
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This lecture was developed to teach 2nd year medical students to review basic pharmacology in preparation for their board exams. The presentation also helps them avoid adverse drug events in elderly patients and improve adherence with prescribed regimens. The presentation reviews basic pharmacology in the elderly, and specifically addresses which drugs to prescribe, which to avoid, when polypharmacy is an issue for older patients and how to decide which drugs and dosages to keep and which to lower or discontinue.

Educational objectives: 

The goals of this lecture is: 1.) To raise awareness of the extent and seriousness of ADEs in older adults. 2.) To critically assess your own prescribing practices for older adults and how to individualize dosing and adherence strategies for an older adult. Upon completion of this lecture the students should be able to: 1.) Identify the physiologic changes associated with normal aging in relation to drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion; 2. )Identify risk factors for Adverse Drug Events in older adults; 3.) Recognize Adverse Drug Events; 4.) Recognize potentially harmful medications for older adults; and 5.) Utilize strategies to enhance the safety, effectiveness, and adherence of prescribed medications.

Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

This lecture is best taught in a classroom setting. The presentation includes extensive speakers notes.

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Already Expired Email Date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 4:06pm
Already Expired Email 1 month date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 12:33am
Expired Email Date: 
Friday, March 30, 2018 - 4:21am
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:
Anthony Caprio

Suggested Citation:
Anthony Caprio and Debra Bynum. Medication Use in the Elderly Patient: Physiology, Pharmacology, and Prescribing. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2006 Available from: