What are some of the physiologic considerations that must be taken into account when medicating elders?

  1. Benzodiazepines, such as Ativan and Xanax, are more frequently prescribed by GP’s and Internists rather than Psychiatrists. Why do you think this is, and what is the problem with this practice?
  2. What are some of the physiologic considerations that must be taken into account when medicating elders? Would it be better for them to have a drug with a long or short half life? Why?
  3. Off-label prescribing is a widespread practice in which a physician prescribes a drug (or a medical device) for a purpose different from the one for which the drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This practice allows for greater flexibility in the use of medications, but may also have some associated problems. What are some of the off label uses of the typical antipsychotic medications? Discuss some of the potential benefits and difficulties associated with this practice.

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