Korean J Med.  2010 Oct;79(4):362-365.

Principles of antimicrobial therapy in elderly patients

  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Older persons generally have greater susceptibility to infections than younger adults, probably because of the increased frequency of comorbidities and physiologic changes. There are many factors, both patient-related and treatment-related, which contribute to unique aspects of antimicrobial use in elderly persons that make prescribing complicated. Physiologic and pharmacokinetic changes associated with aging results in a higher risk of an adverse drug event and a harmful drug interaction, making antimicrobial dosing difficult. The risk of polypharmacy and more frequent adverse drug reactions in the elderly population justify a thorough consideration of the patient's true need for antimicrobial therapy. Given the increase in the elderly population and in the incidence of adverse drug reaction among elderly persons, further efforts should be made to optimize approach to management of infectious diseases in elderly persons.


Aged; Anti-bacterial agents; Drug toxicity
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