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Compare and contrast the pharmacodynamics of aged people with those of fit grownups. How might your attack to ordering in the aged differ from that in younger patients?

Age is a important factor in the development of assorted chronic unwellnesss confronting the universe, lending in aged people holding a higher opportunity of being “ treated for multiple comorbities ” [ 1 ] . “ Due to the addition in figure of coincident medicines taken by those aged & gt ; 65 ” [ 2 ] , the aged are more likely to endure from inauspicious drug reactions. The response of drugs in an single depends on of import procedures, two being pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Pharmacokinetic fluctuations in the aged can give a decrease in the sum of drug needed to make an optimal pharmacodynamic consequence. In this essay nevertheless, it will merely be the pharmacodynamics between the aged and younger tantrum grownups being compared. Pharmacodynamics is identified as what the drug does to the organic structure i.e. what the drug does to the organic structure ‘s pathological and physiological procedures. It is of import to understand the differences in pharmacodynamics that take topographic point in the ripening procedure so aged people are non prescribed medicines that would do them injury. The differences in pharmacodynamics seen with the aged are attributed to organ system alterations, with weakened homeostatic mechanisms giving an altered response to a given drug. Another ground is due to alterations in receptor belongingss. Variations in pharmacodynamics seen in the aged can be chiefly observed in the neuroendocrine and cardiovascular system.

Knowledge of how a drug works is cardinal to its correct usage. So understanding what the drug does and how it does it is an appropriate starting point. How the organic structure operates is regulated by control systems such as receptors, bearer molecules and enzymes amongst others. The huge bulk of drugs operate by interrupting these control systems, and a few drugs achieve this unselectively e.g. general anesthetic agents. These drugs disrupt multiple systems so giving the wanted consequence but besides unwanted effects every bit good. The huge bulk of drugs nevertheless will accomplish changing the organic structure ‘s control systems by adhering selectively to a specialized component on the cell to alter its map. Nevertheless the bulk of these drugs will non hold full specifificity, therefore giving side effects which become peculiarly evident when high doses of drugs are given. The curative index can be used to cipher the efficiency and safety of a drug such that raising the sum of drug ( given to a patient ) which has smaller index raises the opportunities of a drug being toxic.

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When looking at the dose response curves, drug A would hold a big curative index, demoing it is really selective and will give no/few unwanted side effects at the sum which will give the greatest benefit.

Dug B nevertheless has a little curative index so is non-selective and will give more side effects at sums less than which gives its greatest benefit.

Drugs act “ by combination with specific receptors ( e.g. morphia ) ; by change of physiological enzyme procedures ( e.g. ACE inhibitors ) and by direct physical or chemical action ( e.g. osmotic or bulk laxatives or alkalizers ) ” [ 4 ] . Drugs chiefly act on receptors ( 45 % on the cells surface and 2 % on the karyon ) . When a drug binds to a receptor it is called a ligand. In making so it either promotes or inhibits cellular biochemical procedures ( e.g. protein phosphorylation, enzyme activity, DNA written text and ion transition ) . Drugs adhering ability to receptors is altered by ageing ( amongst other factors ) . Diagram 2 illustrates the locations in which drugs can move, an agonist can attach to a receptor, triping it. It seems likely that a drugs ability to map will be altered in some instances by a lessening in receptor denseness.

Receptor and cellular alterations take topographic point in the aged, which has deductions on how their organic structures respond to a drug, i.e. the sensitiveness of their receptors to a drug can be increased or decreased depending on the type of drug. Thus this must be considered when ordering for the aged and if for illustration an enhanced response to a given drug concentration is given, it is likely that there is enhanced drug sensitiveness and vice-a-versa. The tabular array shows a few drugs which change in sensitiveness in the aged.

b-receptor sensitiveness decreases in the aged and in footings of the bosom, there is a decrease in b1 receptor sensitiveness. Increased sensitiveness to CNS moving drugs such as benzodiazepine and anesthetics is associated with ripening, which will be discussed farther later in the essay. Warfarin besides has an increased sensitiveness in the aged, perchance as harmonizing to Jackson, a consequence of “ enzyme suppression instead than differences in substrate handiness ” [ 7 ] , hence ordering must be monitored carefully in aged people for this drug as they will be at an increased hazard of haemorrhaging.A

The ageing procedure gives increasing susceptibleness to adverse reactions by drugs and enhanced susceptibleness to organ disease which necessitates the use of drugs. Therefore organ disease intensifies the hazard if an inauspicious reaction to a drug. For illustration “ patients being treated for depression with attendant glaucoma may happen that the anticholinergic effects of the antidepressants cause an addition in intraocular force per unit area ” [ 8 ] . Body organs maintain homeostasis so if these become diseased their will be age-related alterations in pharmacodynamics at a homeostatic degree. A gradual impairment of homeostatic mechanisms will ensue, “ Hence, following a pharmacological disturbance of a physiological map, more clip is required to recover the original steady-state as counter-regulatory steps are reduced. Therefore, drug effects are attenuated less in the aged, the reactions may be stronger than in immature persons and the incidence of inauspicious drug effects is higher, despite the general diminution in receptor figure or reactivity ” [ 9 ] . These alterations are peculiarly notable when looking at the neuroendocrine and cardiovascular system.

There is an amplified response to CNS-active drugs for the aged compared with younger tantrum grownups due to changes in their pharmacodynamic sensitiveness for peculiar Anaesthetics, Opiods and Benzodiazepines. Pharmacodynamic differences associated with ripening is accounted for by fluctuation in sensitiveness ( e.g. anesthetic dugs ) or/and baseline public presentation ( e.g. benzodiazepines ) . The mechanisms ensuing to these changes “ may be either morphological, i.e. a decrease in the figure of effectual synapses, and/or functional, i.e. alterations in the efficaciousness of staying synapses ” [ 10 ] , which can be accounted for by the alterations in Ca homeostasis. There may be an altered production of neurotransmitters. Besides “ impaired glucose metamorphosis or reduced handiness of glucose and O as cerebrovascular map diminutions ” [ 11 ] . On top of this, some drugs have the ability to perforate the CNS faster on increasing age, e.g. P-glycoprtoein action in the blood-brain barrier lessenings in the aged and this is the molecule that removes drugs out of the encephalon, ensuing in the encephalon “ being exposed to higher drug degrees for a given serum concentration ” [ 12 ] .A

The pharmacodynamics caused by alterations at the CNS will change between the aged and immature tantrum grownups, and anesthetics will be used as a brief illustration. Some anesthetic agents at the CNS have increased sensitiveness. The consequence of a drug on the organic structure is partially dependent on the figure of receptors and affinity to the receptor, so an change to this system explains why there are differing responses to anesthetics in the aged compared with immature tantrum grownups. The sum of Dopastat D2 receptors is reduced in the CNS of aged patients in comparing to immature fit patients. This prompts an enhanced sensitiveness in the nervous web involved in coordination of motion ( Ectrapyrimidal system ) i.e. utmost restlessness “ in response to dopaminergic encirclement by major tranquilizers and metoclopramide ” [ 13 ] . Benzodiazepines is a CNS-active drug which pharmacodynamics is besides of importance clinically. This is due to the relationship between benzodiazepines and accidents among the aged. “ Postural sway is increased at baseline in aged patients and these patients are more likely to lose their balance after triazolam disposal ” [ 14 ] . This pharmacodynamic fluctuation is accounted for by baseline differences among the aged compared with younger tantrum grownups.

Significant alterations occur to the cardiovascular system during the ageing procedure. The blood vass e.g. aorta go more stiff as it looses its snap, ensuing in an increased afterload which consequences in the left ventricle enlarging therefore the bosom hypertrophies. Chemoreceptor sensitiveness is reduced in the aged leading to Baroreceptor sensitiveness to be lessened ( within the blood vass ) , which is associated with postural hypotension by drugs which lower blood force per unit area. Aging causes considerable changes to the autonomic nervous system which will give different response by drugs. There is an addition in the sympathetic activity, seen by amplified adrenaline production ( and lessening in parasympathetic activity for the autonomic nervous system ) , which is associated with a reduced sensitiveness of the b- adrenergic system taking to a down ordinance of b- adrenoreceptors in the aged. Meaning aged patients prescribed b- agonists or b-antagonists require larger sums to hold the coveted consequence, which can do toxicity. Combined with this there is “ a lessening in the figure of ?-adrenergic receptors and altered Gs protein matching of the receptors to the adenylcyclase taking to decrease in the maximal activity of the adenylcyclase with age ” [ 15 ] .

With alterations taking topographic point during the ageing procedure and necessitating intervention for multiple comorbities, the aged require close surveillance to the drugs prescribed for them. For aged people as with younger people it is of import to see the necessity of a drug when ordering for these groups. However in peculiar for aged patients, their lifestyle and ability to pull off taking the drug must be carefully examined. When sing which drugs to order the aged, utmost attention must be taken for drugs moving on the CNS due to their increased sensitiveness in the aged, which would ensue in an overdone response as discussed antecedently. These CNS playing drugs are able to deject respiration as “ critical capacity and upper limit external respiration capacity are lessened in the aged ” [ 16 ] . As aged people have a more sensitive CNS to drugs such as Anesthetics and Benzodiazepines than younger patients, these drugs must be watchfully prescribed in the aged. For illustration Benzodiazepines have the unwanted side effects of sleepiness which will give aged people an increased hazard of falling and wounding themselves. As the cardiovascular system undergoes important alterations, cardiovascular drugs must be paid near attending to when prescribed to the aged, as opposed to suit grownups. The drugs, like all drugs given to the aged should be started at lower doses, for illustration Digoxin which is used for bosom failure and arrhythmias.

As aged people are frequently being prescribed several drugs at the same clip as opposed to suit grownups, it is hence more imperative that prescribers ‘ consider the interactions between drugs in the aged and have a full cognition of on the over-the counter medicines that the patient is taking. Non sterol anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ) can do GI hemorrhage and the hazard of this is increased in the presence of Warfarin, so peculiar attention must be taken in the aged to forestall haemorrhaging.A Another pharmacodynamic interaction that increases in the aged, which prescribers must be more cognizant of with this age group than with younger tantrum grownups, is the interaction between water pills and NSAIDs which combined can be used to handle Hypertension and Rheumatoid arthritis. However NSAIDs antagonize the actions of water pills and ?- blockers as hypotensive agents.

Knowing how pharmacodynamics change between the aged and immature tantrum grownups is indispensable in appreciating how the drug will move on the organic structure of older patients and is hence important in understanding how best to order medicine for the aged. There are legion drugs which due to the ageing procedure can hold a significantly changed response in the aged. Due to for illustration changes in the sensitiveness of receptors and organ system alterations which take topographic point peculiarly at the CNS and CVR degree. Aged patients are normally being treated for multiple comorbities so will hold a higher hazard from inauspicious reactions. Therefore remotion of unneeded medicine must be carried out by prescribers to avoid unsafe drug interactions and therefore harmful side-effects.

Bibliography

Scientific Article

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Web site:hypertext transfer protocol: //www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Prescribing-for-the-Older-Patient.htm

Textbook:

Laurence D.R. and Bennett P.N. , Clinical Pharmacology 7th edition, Churchill Livingstone

British Medical Association and Royal Society of Great Britain, British National Formulary, March 2009

MDU, Concise medical Dictionary, 7th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2007

Rang H.P, Dale M.M, Ritter J.M. and Moore P.K, Pharmacology 5th Edition, Churchill Livingstone

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