Medication Management Therapy for the Elderly
Persons over the age of 65 make up almost 13 percent of the population of the United States, but they receive 30 percent of prescriptions filled. The elderly generally have more medical problems, and many of them are taking medications for one or more of these conditions. In addition, they tend to be more sensitive to the side effects of medications. Even healthy older people eliminate some medications from the body more slowly than younger persons, and therefore require a lower dose or less frequent dosing to maintain an effective level of medication.
The elderly are also more likely to accidentally take too much of a medication because they forget that they have taken a dose and take another one. The use of a 7-day pill-box, or an electronic medication reminding and monitoring system, can be especially helpful for an elderly person.
The elderly and those close to them — friends, relatives, and caretakers — need to pay special attention and watch for adverse (negative) physical and psychological responses to medication. Because seniors often take more medications — not only those prescribed but also over-the-counter preparations and home, folk, or herbal remedies — the potential for adverse drug interactions is high.
We are living in a time of exciting and revolutionary understanding of how stress affects brain function. Psychiatry has recently documented that numerous environmental stresses can alter the way that genes behave and express themselves in brain cells, which in turn affect brain cell energy levels and metabolism, and ultimately determine how brain circuits that regulate mood, thought, and anxiety are negatively affected.
Potomac Psychiatry’s physicians are highly trained and familiar with the different medication options available, and typically we use the lowest doses of medication possible to restore balanced functioning. We partner with our senior citizen clients and their loved ones to deliver a mutually agreed-upon treatment program, whereby some clients are treated with medication management alone, and others with a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
Read more about psychiatric medication management.
At Potomac Psychiatry our psychiatrists and therapists specialize in psychiatric medication management issues in the elderly. Contact us to discuss your needs or to schedule an appointment.