Dosing Errors: Age-Related Changes in Pharmacokinetics

  • Andrew J. McLachlanEmail author
  • Sarah N. Hilmer
  • David G. Le Couteur


Choosing the right medicine and dose regimen for the right patient are critical aspects of achieving quality use of medicines in older people. A comprehensive understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics is central to dose regimen design for older people. Ageing is associated with increased medication use and range of physiological changes that have the potential to effect drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in a variety of ways. Understanding the possible impact of age-associated changes in pharmacology can provide a basis of optimising drug therapy in older people where clinical evidence from controlled trials is lacking. It is clear that the interpatient variability in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes contributes to the variability in drug response and contributes to the risk of the adverse effects. There is growing evidence to suggest that frailty is an influential factor in contributing to pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic variability.


Older people Elderly Ageing Geriatric pharmacology Pharmacokinetics Pharmacodynamics Drug metabolism Frailty 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew J. McLachlan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sarah N. Hilmer
  • David G. Le Couteur
  1. 1.Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Education and Research on Ageing, Concord Repatriation General HospitalConcordAustralia

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