SOCIAL AND CLINICAL ASPECTS OF PHARMACOTHERAPY IN OLD AGE
Background. Older population has more symptoms and disease signs as elderly people are more prone to ilnesses. That is why they take both prescribed and unprescribed drugs more frequently. In 2003 Slovenian insured persons younger than 65 received on average 5.5 prescriptions while those above 65 received 19.4 prescriptions. During the same year 4,811 insured persons received a prescription for 10 drugs and 160 of them for 18 or more drugs.
There are many physiological changes that accompany aging and are important for pharmacotherapy. For example, body fat increases while total body water, plasma volume and serum albumin concentration decrease. There is also a significant decrease of kidney function, most notably seen in glomerular filtration rate.
Conclusions. Basic recommendations for pharmacotherapy in old age include a decrease in simultaneous drug consumation, if possible to the value of 4. Recommended dose for majority of drugs would be 1/2 to 2/3 of the one taken by a man of average age having an average body mass.
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