Incorporating pharmacokinetic data into personalised prescribing for older people: challenges and opportunities

Arduino A. Mangoni, Elzbieta A. Jarmuzewska

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We discuss the known age-associated changes in drug metabolism and elimination, the potential use of this information when selecting specific therapeutic strategies in older patients, and the steps required to fill the knowledge gap in this field. Methods: We conducted a narrative review that encapsulates the current knowledge regarding the main age-associated changes in drug metabolism and elimination and discusses their possible inclusion in current and future personalised prescribing tools for the older patient population. Results: Despite some progress in this field, the lack of specific information regarding the impact of frailty, pharmacogenomics, and drug–drug, drug–disease, and organ–organ interactions, particularly in subjects > 80 years, currently prevents the routine incorporation of pharmacokinetic data, barring measures of renal function, into personalised prescribing tools. Conclusions: The incorporation of pharmacokinetic data into personalised prescribing, an approach based on the consideration of a number of patient’s characteristics when selecting the right drug(s) and dose regimen(s) to maximize effectiveness and limit toxicity, remains a hypothetical construct in geriatric care. Pending the inclusion of frail and complex older patients in pre- and post-marketing studies, a better understanding of the key pharmacokinetic alterations of common medications in “real-life” patients, together with the implementation of effective strategies tackling inappropriate prescribing, is likely to improve clinical outcomes and reduce healthcare utilization in the older population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date8 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Ageing
  • Drug elimination
  • Drug metabolism
  • Personalised prescribing
  • Pharmacokinetics


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