Physiologic Changes in Old Age: Relation to Altered Drug Disposition

David J. Greenblatt, Marcia Divoll, Darrell R. Abernethy, Richard I. Shader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Current knowledge of the effects of aging on drug disposition is reviewed. Although definitive studies are not always available, based on present evidence it appears that: 1) drug absorption is not impaired in the elderly; 2) drug distribution in the elderly may be altered by significant changes in the lipid/lean body mass ratio; 3) Phase I (non‐synthetic) biotransformation reactions of the liver appear to be much more profoundly affected by aging than are Phase II (synthetic) reactions; 4) age‐related effects of biotransformation can be different even for compounds that are very similar and undergo the same types of reactions. Important parameters of drug metabolism are also discussed, such as the need to use total clearance, rather than half‐life, in assessing pharmacokinetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S6-S10
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
StatePublished - Nov 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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