Dermato-pharmacology in Older Patients

  • Olivia Yu-Ping Lai
  • Justin EndoEmail author


Safely prescribing medications to older dermatology patients is a complicated task. The practitioner is likely to encounter several age-related challenges when prescribing to older adult dermatology patients. These challenges might not be common in younger populations. First, pertinent age-related physiologic changes that can cause medications to affect older patients differently are overviewed. Next, psychosocial and ethical factors that might impact prescribing practices are discussed. Then, different types of medication errors that can occur are described. Many of these errors, such as polypharmacy, can be anticipated by applying geropharmacologic principles. Other errors, such as underprescription, might seem counterintuitive. These concepts are synthesized into evidence-based prescribing strategies for older adults, and areas of research gaps are then highlighted. Practical examples of potential prescribing pitfalls are also provided. Complementary therapies, which are increasingly being used by older adults and which can interact with dermatologic medications or even cause dermatologic problems, are also briefly outlined.


Geriatric Pharmacology Older Prescribing Geropharmacology Aged Cutaneous Polypharmacy Skin Dermatology 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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