Download Drugs for the Elderly, 2nd Edition (European Series , No 71) by World Health Organization, L. Offerhaus PDF

By World Health Organization, L. Offerhaus

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Extra resources for Drugs for the Elderly, 2nd Edition (European Series , No 71)

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In severe constipation, faeces in the rectum and colon become hard, dry and impacted. Complications of faecal impaction include subacute obstruction, severe discomfort and spurious diarrhoea associated with faecal incontinence. As many drugs may cause or worsen constipation (iron salts, anticholinergics or drugs with anticholinergic side effects, opiates), such possible causative agents should be eliminated before treatment is started. Indications and prescHbing rules Frail old people at risk of developing constipation should be treated with bulking agents.

Severe ADRs in the elderly are, in 9 out of 10 cases, due to a drug's well known pharmacological effects, and are not infrequently precipitated by drug interaction. g. ampicillin derivatives, sulfonamides) seldom give rise to therapeutic problems in the elderly. Allergic reactions can, however, produce difficult diagnostic problems if the patient presents with fever (drug fever) as the principal manifestation. Abrupt withdrawal of certain drugs (benzodiazepines, betablockers) can cause severe reactions in the elderly.

Combination products One way of simplifying medication and thus improving compliance is to combine different substances in one tablet. 23 Examples include beta-blocking agents combined with thiazide diuretics, thiazide diuretics combined with potassium-sparing agents, and tricyclic antidepressants combined with phenothiazine tranquillizers. These should only be used if one drug is inadequate. For example, moderate hypertension should be treated initially with either a thiazide diuretic or a beta-blocking agent and the other drug added only if the first is ineffective.

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