Dosages for the Elderly

Dosages for the Elderly

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.