Items in AFP with MESH term: Drug Therapy
ABSTRACT: Conduct disorder is a common childhood psychiatric problem that has an increased incidence in adolescence. The primary diagnostic features of conduct disorder include aggression, theft, vandalism, violations of rules and/or lying. For a diagnosis, these behaviors must occur for at least a six-month period. Conduct disorder has a multifactorial etiology that includes biologic, psychosocial and familial factors. The differential diagnosis of conduct disorder includes oppositional defiant disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorder and intermittent explosive disorder. Family physicians may provide brief, behaviorally focused parent counseling, pharmacotherapy and referral for more intensive family and individual psychotherapy.
ABSTRACT: Elderly patients with unintentional weight loss are at higher risk for infection, depression and death. The leading causes of involuntary weight loss are depression (especially in residents of long-term care facilities), cancer (lung and gastrointestinal malignancies), cardiac disorders and benign gastrointestinal diseases. Medications that may cause nausea and vomiting, dysphagia, dysgeusia and anorexia have been implicated. Polypharmacy can cause unintended weight loss, as can psychotropic medication reduction (i.e., by unmasking problems such as anxiety). A specific cause is not identified in approximately one quarter of elderly patients with unintentional weight loss. A reasonable work-up includes tests dictated by the history and physical examination, a fecal occult blood test, a complete blood count, a chemistry panel, an ultrasensitive thyroid-stimulating hormone test and a urinalysis. Upper gastrointestinal studies have a reasonably high yield in selected patients. Management is directed at treating underlying causes and providing nutritional support. Consideration should be given to the patient's environment and interest in and ability to eat food, the amelioration of symptoms and the provision of adequate nutrition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has labeled no appetite stimulants for the treatment of weight loss in the elderly.
ABSTRACT: Older Americans comprise 13 percent of the population, but they consume an average of 30 percent of all prescription drugs. Every day, physicians are faced with issues surrounding appropriate prescribing to older patients. Polypharmacy, use of supplements, adherence issues, and the potential for adverse drug events all pose challenges to effective prescribing. Knowledge of the interplay between aging physiology, chronic diseases, and drugs will help the physician avoid potential adverse drug events as well as drug-drug and drug-disease interactions. Evidence is now available showing that older patients may be underprescribed useful drugs, including aspirin for secondary prevention in high-risk patients, beta blockers following myocardial infarction, and warfarin for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. There is also evidence that many older adults receive medications that could potentially cause more harm than good. Finding the right balance between too few and too many drugs will help ensure increased longevity, improved overall health, and enhanced functioning and quality of life for the aging population.
Geriatric Failure to Thrive - Article
ABSTRACT: In elderly patients, failure to thrive describes a state of decline that is multifactorial and may be caused by chronic concurrent diseases and functional impairments. Manifestations of this condition include weight loss, decreased appetite, poor nutrition, and inactivity. Four syndromes are prevalent and predictive of adverse outcomes in patients with failure to thrive: impaired physical function, malnutrition, depression, and cognitive impairment. Initial assessments should include information on physical and psychologic health, functional ability, socioenvironmental factors, and nutrition. Laboratory and radiologic evaluations initially are limited to a complete blood count, chemistry panel, thyroid-stimulating hormone level, urinalysis, and other studies that are appropriate for an individual patient. A medication review should ensure that side effects or drug interactions are not a contributing factor to failure to thrive. The impact of existing chronic diseases should be assessed. Interventions should be directed toward easily treatable causes of failure to thrive, with the goal of maintaining or improving overall functional status. Physicians should recognize the diagnosis of failure to thrive as a key decision point in the care of an elderly person. The diagnosis should prompt discussion of end-of-life care options to prevent needless interventions that may prolong suffering.
Survivor: What Does it Mean to be Cured? - Close-ups
What Every Physician Should Know About Generic Drugs - Improving Patient Care
When Patients Cannot Afford Their Medications - Curbside Consultation
Sex-Based Differences in Drug Activity - Article
ABSTRACT: Physiologic differences between men and women affect drug activity, including pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Pharmacokinetics in women is affected by lower body weight, slower gastrointestinal motility, less intestinal enzymatic activity, and slower glomerular filtration rate. Because of delayed gastric emptying, women may need to extend the interval between eating and taking medications that must be absorbed on an empty stomach. Other physiologic differences may affect medication dosages. For example, because renal clearance is slower in women, some renally-excreted medications, such as digoxin, may require a dosage adjustment. Pharmacodynamic differences in women include greater sensitivity to and enhanced effectiveness of beta blockers, opioids, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and typical antipsychotics. Additionally, women are 50 to 75 percent more likely than men to experience an adverse drug reaction. Because women are prone to torsades de pointes, medications known to prolong the QT interval should be used with caution. Women should receive lower dosages of digoxin and have lower serum concentration targets than men because of higher mortality rates.