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Prescription, Nonprescription and Herbal Medications: Exploring Interactions in the Geriatric Population

Prescription, Nonprescription and Herbal Medications: Exploring Interactions in the Geriatric Population
Purpose: To examine the issue of polypharmacy in the geriatric population. Drug therapy in the elderly presents a special challenge as older patients are more sensitive to drugs and demonstrate wider individual responses.


Introduction: Student is to address current demographics of the geriatric population (numbers by age group over 50 years of age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, household income, educational level, etc. Address any demographic information you believe impacts or influences an elderly persons participation in a medication regimen.

Section I: Discuss specific physiologic changes that occur with aging and how those changes affect absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs.

Section 2: Delineate factors that predispose older patients to adverse drug reactions.

Section 3: 1. Select two of the following classes of medications (analgesics, antidepressants)

2. Identify 3 commonly prescribed medications in each class – discuss the mechanism of action of each of the medications

3. Identify 3 commonly used nonprescriptive medications from the same class as those meds discussed in Section 3.2() – discuss the mechanism of action of each of the three nonprescription medications (Example: Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Ibuprofen)

4. Identify 3 alternative or complimentary therapies advertised to address the same physiologic needs as the classes of medications identified in Section 3.2. Discuss the mechanism of action of each of the three complimentary therapies.

Section 4: Based on the mechanism of action of each of the classes of medications discussed, describe potential drug interactions about which the NP should question or assess the patient.

Conclusion: Summarize comments

References: Students must include citations from a MINIMUM of 5 peer-reviewed professional nursing journals. Research articles may be included, required textbook is not to be counted as reference. APA format required. Minimum of 10 pages, excluding title page and references.

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