Sunday, January 15, 2006

pulmonary disease, drug-induced

The elderly are at greater risk for pulmonary complications from drugs because they are more likely to be suffering from diseases that require treatment with drugs that can produce pulmonary toxicity. They are also more likely to have decreased pulmonary function due to aging or progressive respiratory disease.
The most common drug-induced respiratory complication is asthma (bronchospasm); aspirin and Beta blockers are most commonly the responsible drugs. Many of the anticancer drugs are likely to produce pulmonary responses, as are central nervous system depressants. The degree of respiratory depression is primarily dose-related. To prevent or lessen drug-induced pulmonary depressions, health-care personnel need to be aware of the possible complications of a given drug and carefully monitor the patient who may be at risk. The lowest possible dose that will provide the desired response should be employed.
Covington, T., and Walker, J. Current Geriatric Therapy. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1984.

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