What factors should be taken into account when medications are prescribed to elderly patients?

Mrs. Fannie Smith, 72 years old, has been coming to your practice

 

for several years. A detailed medication/health history reveals a

healthy 130-pound woman whose only medication is

hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg every morning for high blood pressure.

She also takes an occasional ibuprofen for arthritis pain. She

presents today for her regular oral health maintenance checkup.

1. What are your concerns regarding drug distribution in a 72-

year-old woman?

2. As a dental hygienist, how can you assess liver and renal

function without requesting liver and renal function tests?

3. Mrs. Smith has a cavity, which needs to be addressed. What

would be the route of administration for delivering a local

anesthetic?

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of parenteral

drug administration?

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5. Mrs. Smith takes hydrochlorothiazide and ibuprofen. What

are the advantages and disadvantages of orally

administered drugs?

6. What factors should be taken into account when medications

are prescribed to elderly patients?

7. What would be the more appropriate time of day for Mrs.

Smith to take her hydrochlorothiazide and why? How does

this timing affect drug absorption?

8. How can the dental hygienist help minimize any adverse

reactions or drug interactions in Mrs. Smith?

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