"In the presence of hypokalemia, digoxin can exacerbate the development of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Due to reduced renal function, elderly patients are more susceptible to developing digitalis toxicity., Class I antiarrhythmic drugs in patients with coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction are pro-arrhythmic and may cause sudden death., "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human aging is a global issue with important implications for current and future incidence and prevalence of health conditions and disability. Cardiac arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation, sudden cardiac death, and bradycardia requiring pacemaker placement, all increase exponentially after the age of 60. It is important to distinguish between the normal, physiological consequences of aging on cardiac electrophysiology and the abnormal, pathological alterations. The age-related cardiac changes include ventricular hypertrophy, senile amyloidosis, cardiac valvular degenerative changes and annular calcification, fibrous infiltration of the conduction system, and loss of natural pacemaker cells and these changes could have a profound effect on the development of arrhythmias. The age-related cardiac electrophysiological changes include up- and down-regulation of specific ion channel expression and intracellular Ca(2+) overload which promote the development of cardiac arrhythmias. As ion channels are the substrates of antiarrhythmic drugs, it follows that the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of these drugs will also change with age. Aging alters the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of antiarrhythmic drugs, so liver and kidney function must be monitored to avoid potential adverse drug effects, and antiarrhythmic dosing may need to be adjusted for age. Elderly patients are also more susceptible to the side effects of many antiarrhythmics, including bradycardia, orthostatic hypotension, urinary retention, and falls. Moreover, the choice of antiarrhythmic drugs in the elderly patient is frequently complicated by the presence of co-morbid conditions and by polypharmacy, and the astute physician must pay careful attention to potential drug-drug interactions. Finally, it is important to remember that the use of antiarrhythmic drugs in elderly patients must be individualized and tailored to each patient's physiology, disease processes, and medication regimen.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: agents administered during hospi- talization at a tertiary care acade- mic medical center. The retrospec- tive analysis was conducted over 1 year. A total of 416 allergies were reported among 300 patients; more than 1 allergy was reported by more than one-fourth of study patients (82/300 (27.3%)). Only 36.3% (151/416) of allergies reported were accompanied by a reaction description (95% confi- dence interval (CI), 31.7% to
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MEDICATION SAFETY Overlooked Renal Dosage Adjustments A retrospective analysis of 647 patients at hospital discharge com-pared required renal dosage adjust-ments to dosage actually prescribed. This study was conducted at VieCuri Medical Centre in Venlo, Netherlands. Patient demographics and renal function data were col-lected, and dosage adjustment needs were assessed via the pharmacy-supported discharge counseling ser-vice. The incidence of inappropriate dosing based on renal function was measured at hospital discharge. Thirty-seven percent of patients evaluated during the study period (237/647) had a creatinine clear-ance less than 51 mL/min/1.73 m 2 ; dosage adjustment was warranted in 23.9% (411/1,718) of prescrip-tions. When dosage adjustment should have been performed, more than 40% of prescriptions (169/411; 41.1%) were inappropri-ate for renal function (9.8% of pre-scriptions overall; 169/1,718). Fur-thermore, 60.4% (102/169) of inappropriate prescriptions pos-sessed the potential for moderate or severe clinical consequences, as evaluated by a panel of two clinical pharmacologists and one nephrolo-gist. Study authors also noted a lack of standardized dosing guidelines for agents requiring renal dosage adjustment. The authors also sug-gested that augmenting medication systems by adding dynamic renal dosing alerts would improve moni-toring. Summary: A comparison of suggested renal dosing and actual dosing at hospital discharge revealed that appropriate prescribing may be overlooked. van Dijk EA, Drabbe NRG, Kruijtbosch M, De Smet PAGM. Drug dosage adjust-ments according to renal function at hos-pital discharge. Ann Pharmacother. 2006;40:1254-1260.
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