Throughout this course, you have explored pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. While many patient factors may impact these processes and result in adverse drug reactions, age is often the cause. This creates the potential for a variety of issues when prescribing drugs to pediatric and geriatric patients. In terms of drug therapy for these two patient groups, it is essential to consider the harm versus benefit ratio of drug treatments. Are the benefits worth the risk? According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, nearly half of hospitalizations for adverse drug events involved geriatric patients (Budnitz, Lovegrove, Shehab, and Richards, 2011). Pediatric patients follow closely behind due to issues with dosing and polypharmacy.
Due to aging and alterations of disease, the cellular structure of the body changes across the lifespan—from pediatrics to geriatrics. As a result, body systems begin to function differently and may react to drugs differently through pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes. In pediatric and geriatric patients, the body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes, and excretes drugs differently than the average adult’s body. Since the dosing guidelines for most drugs are not written to account for these differences, the potential for adverse reactions in pediatric and geriatric patients increases. When prescribing drugs to pediatric and geriatric patients, health care providers have to weigh benefits against potential harmful effects.
- Review this week’s media presentation.
- Review Chapter 4 and Chapter 6 in theArcangelo text, as well as the Hilmer, et al, article in the Learning Resources.
- Select one of the following patient groups to be the focus of your Discussion: pediatric or geriatric.
- Select a body system. Consider the pathophysiology of the system and how this body system absorbs, distributes, metabolizes, and excretes drugs for the group you selected.
- Select two classes of drugs. Consider the benefits and limitations of prescribing these classes of drugs to the group you selected.
By Day 4
Post an explanation of the pathophysiology of the body system you selected in the patient group you selected. Then, explain how this body system absorbs, distributes, metabolizes, and excretes drugs in the patient group you selected. Finally, describe the benefits and limitations of prescribing two particular classes of drugs to patients in this group.