This article summarizes 5 cases from consultation services at several teaching hospitals. These challenging cases illustrate several points for the consultation/liaison psychiatrist to consider in caring for elderly hospitalized patients.
It is important to monitor and alter psychotropic medications and dosages in older patients as needed. This slideshow serves as quick reference on the effects of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes in the elderly.
Drug interactions are more frequent in elderly patients because more medications are taken. In addition, drug interactions may be more serious because of insufficient physiological reserves. When new medications are started or stopped in elderly patients, it is very important to take note of potential interactions with other drugs or foods.
Among clinicians and researchers in geriatric psychiatry, interest in late-life bipolar disorder is growing, fueled not only by the increasing size of this clinical population but also by the recent discovery that mood stabilizers such as lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) may influence the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease.
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