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Therapeutics in older people – the challenges (1 CPD hour)

Geriatric medicine consultant Dr Sinéad O'Mahony outlines pharmacology in older patients.
Learning objectives

This module will give an overview of therapeutics in elderly patients in primary care:

  • Reducing drug doses in older people
  • Being aware of other pharmacokinetic changes in older people including, for example, the volume of distribution for fat-soluble drugs increases
  • Being aware that homeostatic mechanisms often underpin the susceptibility of older people to adverse drug reactions
  • Prescribing in care home residents
  • Benefit and risk in using antipsychotics off licence for behavioural symptoms in dementia
  • Improving prescribing in older people
  • Conducting regular medication reviews in prescribing for older people

This module was first published on 17 June 2010 and was up to date with all key guidelines and evidence at that point. It will be reviewed as part of our routine update cycle by 17 June 2012 but will be updated sooner to reflect any key guideline changes.


Dr Sinéad O'Mahony is chair of the British Geriatrics Society's drugs and prescribing section and consultant physician and senior lecturer in geriatric medicine at the University Hospital Llandough, Cardiff

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