Advertisement

Why does medication affect the elderly more than young people?

Sarah N. Mourra, MD
Neurology
Medication affects the elderly more than young people because older individuals are often not able to metabolize medications as well as younger people. Medication-related problems (MRPs) are more common due to the changes that occur with aging and disability. Older people may be more vulnerable to side effects of medications because their brains do not have as much cognitive reserve due to cognitive impairment or stroke, for example.
 
Any symptom in an elderly person should be considered a drug side effect until proven otherwise. This statement is important for doctors and caregivers to keep in mind when taking care of older people when they manifest new symptoms or deterioration and doctors are trying to figure out what might be causing it.

Continue Learning about Healthcare Basics

Choosing a New Doctor? 5 Questions You Must Ask
Choosing a New Doctor? 5 Questions You Must Ask
My patient came in with wrist pain. She had fallen and seen a general orthopedic surgeon in her small town, who did an x-ray and saw no fracture. Stil...
Read More
What should I expect at an urgent care clinic?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
At an urgent care clinic you can expect similar care to what you would receive at an emergency room....
More Answers
10 Things Nurses Wish Their Patients Knew
10 Things Nurses Wish Their Patients Knew10 Things Nurses Wish Their Patients Knew10 Things Nurses Wish Their Patients Knew10 Things Nurses Wish Their Patients Knew
Be honest, speak up and don't forget to stop in and say hello
Start Slideshow
What Do You See in the Future for Global Health?
What Do You See in the Future for Global Health?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.