AffiliationDepartment of Geriatric Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland., firstname.lastname@example.org
Aged, 80 and over
Drug Utilization/statistics & numerical data
*Health Services for the Aged
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CitationIr J Med Sci. 2003 Apr-Jun;172(2):66-8.
JournalIrish journal of medical science
AbstractBACKGROUND: Elderly patients in long-term care units are frailer than their community-dwelling peers and may be more at risk from toxic side-effects of anticonvulsant medication at standard doses. AIM: To examine the prescribing of anticonvulsants to patients in elderly care units. METHODS: Drug prescription sheets and case notes were reviewed. Serum anticonvulsant concentration, renal and liver profiles and albumin level were measured. RESULTS: Anticonvulsants were prescribed to twice as many male as female patients (32 vs 14%; p<0.03) and to 33% of those younger than 80 years of age versus 10% of those aged 80 years or older (p<0.0002). No patient had significant hypoalbuminaemia and routine measurement of serum anticonvulsant concentration did not indicate an alteration of dosage. CONCLUSIONS: Anticonvulsants appear to be well tolerated in these patients. The younger age of those receiving anticonvulsants is inadequately explained by the characteristics of the patient cohort and may reflect a shift towards a younger age in patients requiring anticonvulsants due to increased mortality in this group.