As one ages, there is a multitude of changes that occur in almost every system in the body. As such, an aging population presents many medication challenges.

Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) is a common problem among the elderly population. Causes of dysphagia can include strokes and psychobehavioral disorders (dementia or delirium). This can cause problems administering oral medications e.g. tablets and capsules in elderly patients.

Another issue faced by doctors when prescribing medications for the elderly is choosing the correct dose, because adverse drug effects are often dose-related. The conventional wisdom has been to “start low and go slow”, however limited availability of low-dose tablets make it difficult for physicians to prescribe low-dose therapy.

Pharmaceutical compounding has the potential to benefit some elderly patients and their complex medical needs. In collaboration with your prescriber, we have the ability to modify the dosage form of some medications to make it easier to take. For example, Rapidly-dissolving tablets and oral liquids can be of great benefit to elderly patients suffering from swallowing patients. Low-doses of some medications can also be compounded if the practitioner decides that the patient is at risk of experiencing side effects from a commercially available medication strength.

For more information, please contact one of our experienced compounding pharmacists to discuss further.

References:

Rochon, P. A., Anderson, G. M., Tu, J. V., Gurwitz, J. H., Clark, J. P., Shear, N. H. and Lau, P. (1999), Age- and Gender-Related Use of Low-Dose Drug Therapy: The Need to Manufacture Low-Dose Therapy and Evaluate the Minimum Effective Dose. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 47: 954–959. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.1999.tb01290.x

 

Oral drug therapy in elderly with dysphagia: between a rock and a hard place! Logrippo S, Ricci G, Sestili M, Cespi M, Ferrara L, Palmieri GF, Ganzetti R, Bonacucina G, Blasi P  31 January 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 241—251 Clinical Interventions in Aging

Bourdenet, G., Giraud, S., Artur, M., Dutertre, S., Dufour, M., Lefèbvre-Caussin, M., Proux, A., Philippe, S., Capet, C., Fontaine-Adam, M., Kadri, K., Landrin, I., Gréboval, E., Touflet, M., Nanfack, J., Tharasse, C., Varin, R., Rémy, E., Daouphars, M. and Doucet, J. (2015), Impact of recommendations on crushing medications in geriatrics: from prescription to administration. Fundam Clin Pharmacol, 29: 316–320. doi:10.1111/fcp.12116