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Cardiol Rev. 2007 Jul-Aug;15(4):195-215.

Cardiovascular drug therapy in the elderly.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, New York Medical College/Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, New York 10595, USA.


Pharmacokinetic considerations in the elderly include absorption, bioavailablility, drug distribution, half-life, drug metabolism, and drug excretion. There are numerous physiologic changes with aging that affect pharmacodynamics with alterations in end-organ responsiveness. This article discusses use of cardiovascular drugs in the elderly including digoxin, diuretics, beta-adrenergic blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin-II receptor blockers, nitrates, calcium channel blockers, alpha-adrenergic blockers, antiarrhythmic drugs, lipid-lowering drugs, and anticoagulants. This article also discusses the adverse effects of cardiovascular drugs in the elderly, medications best to avoid in the elderly, and the prudent use of medications in the elderly.

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