Benzodiazepines undergo both phase I (oxidation) and phase II (conjugation) reactions.Therefore, the side effect profile of benzodiazepines when used in the older population depends on the elimination half-life and type of metabolism that it undergoes.
This group experiences more medication-related adverse drug effects as compared to the younger population.
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs), or side effects can be understood as "an appreciably harmful or unpleasant reaction, resulting from an intervention related to the use of a medicinal product, which predicts hazard from future administration and warrants prevention or specific treatment, or alteration of the dosage regimen, or withdrawal of the product." Medication-related side effects are also an important reason for discontinuation of medications which further deteriorates the general well-being of the patient.
J Geriatr Ment Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2017 Dec 29];-29. 2015/2/1/16/161377 The recent advances in the field of medicine have largely contributed to this change which is occurring worldwide.
However, with increasing age begins the appearance of symptoms which mark the onset of declining bodily functions.
In this review, we shall first discuss the factors associated with ADRs in the elderly.
Following this, we shall try to encapsulate the data available on ADRs due to antipsychotics and benzodiazepines.The number of dopaminergic receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) decreases with age.The availability of D2 receptors in the caudate and putamen also decline with age.Advancing age also increases the vulnerability to long-term illnesses like anemia, arthritis/joint pain, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cataract, cancers, musculoskeletal illness.Besides physical morbidity, psychiatric morbidity is also common in the older population.Pharmacokinetic changes Absorption of the medication from the stomach is decreased due to decrease in gastric acid secretion which results in increase in intra-gastric p H.