Asthma Medications and their Potential Adverse Effects in the Elderly View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2001-12

AUTHORS

Donald Mackenzie Newnham

ABSTRACT

The incidence of drug-induced adverse effects is likely to increase as a result of advanced age and exposure of elderly patients to polypharmacy. Therefore, pharmacological therapy of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the elderly patient can be potentially hazardous.β2-agonists, administered as therapy for asthma and COPD, have recognised systemic sequelae, such as hypokalaemia and chronotropic effects, which may be life-threatening in susceptible patients. Adverse effects such as hypokalaemia can be aggravated by concomitant treatment with other drugs promoting potassium loss including diuretics, corticosteorids and theophyllines. In addition, relatively minor adverse events associated with the administration of β2-agonists, such as tremor and blood pressure changes, may be of significance to the elderly patient leading to impairment in the quality of life. However, long-term treatment with β2-agonists may reduce the incidence of drug-induced adverse effects as a result of β-receptor subsensitivity.Oral and inhaled corticosteroids have been used for the treatment of acute asthma and COPD in the elderly patient. Long-term treatment with oral corticosteroids can result in serious systemic adverse effects such as suppressed adrenal function, bone loss, skin thinning and cataract formation. In contrast to β2-agonists, oral corticosteroids can upregulate β2-adrenoceptors and thereby potentiate the systemic sequelae of β2-agonists. Hence, oral corticosteroids should be administered with caution for as short a duration as possible. Inhaled corticosteroids appear to be relatively well tolerated when administered at doses below approximately 1000μg. However, larger doses of inhaled corticosteroids may affect hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function and bone turnover. In the case of inhaled corticosteroids, spacer devices, often used in older patients who cannot operate metered dose inhalers, can potentiate the systemic sequelae of both corticosteroids and β2-agonists.The use of theophyllines in the treatment of COPD or chronic asthma is controversial. Theophyllines have a wide adverse effect profile and are prone to drug-drug interactions. The adverse effects may be mild or life threatening and include nausea and vomiting or sinus and supraventricular tachycardias. Therefore, theophyllines should be prescribed with extreme caution to elderly patients with asthma or COPD.In contrast, inhaled anticholinergic drugs such as ipratropium bromide and oxitropium bromide are generally safe in elderly patients and have useful bronchodilator function. Commonly reported adverse effects are an unpleasant taste and dryness of the mouth. When used as first-line therapy, anticholinergic drugs may optimise the bronchodilator effects of low-dose inhaled β2-agonists in patients with chronic airflow obstruction, and hence obviate the need for higher doses. More... »

PAGES

1065-1080

References to SciGraph publications

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  • 1990-02. Subsensitivity of beta-adrenoceptor responses in asthmatic patients taking regular low dose inhaled salbutamol in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
  • 1998-08. Concomitant inhaled corticosteroid resensitises cardiac β2-adrenoceptors in the presence of long-acting β2-agonist therapy in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
  • 1993-08. Pharmacokinetic Optimisation of Inhaled Steroid Therapy in Asthma in CLINICAL PHARMACOKINETICS
  • 1982-05. Theophylline kinetics and ventilatory flow in bronchial asthma and chronic airflow obstruction: Influence of erythromycin in CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS
  • 1989-05. Evaluation of the metabolic responses to inhaled salbutamol in the measurement of beta2-adrenoceptor blockade in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
  • 1997-01. Dose-Response of Inhaled Drugs in Asthma in CLINICAL PHARMACOKINETICS
  • 1989-10. Effects of passive smoking on theophylline clearance in CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS
  • 1988-03. Effect of prednisolone and ketotifen onβ2-adrenoceptors in asthmatic patients receivingβ2-bronchodilators in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
  • 1991-02. A dose-ranging study to evaluate the β1-adrenoceptor selectivity of bisoprolol in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
  • 1996-06. Effects of short-term exposure to high-dose inhaled corticosteroids on novel markers of bone metabolism in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
  • Identifiers

    URI

    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.2165/00002018-200124140-00005

    DOI

    http://dx.doi.org/10.2165/00002018-200124140-00005

    DIMENSIONS

    https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1018020957

    PUBMED

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11735662


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