Geriatric Pharmacy

Geriatric Pharmacy

Rhazes Geriatric Pharmacy Group (RGPG)

Due to aging, older people are prone to various chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Certain medical conditions such as incontinence, falls, dementia and functional decline are also more common in older people.

Since older people are normally present with medical conditions, they are common users of medications. These medications are obtained from the hospitals, health clinics, and community pharmacies. The multiple sources of medications for the older people may put them at risk of polypharmacy.

Medications: One size does not fit all

Since older people experience age-related physiological changes, the way they process and metabolize medications are different than that observed in younger people. Certain medications that are well tolerated by younger patients may be unsuitable for older people.

How Geriatric pharmacists could help older people manage and use their medications safely?

  1. Geriatric Pharmacists can identify the appropriateness of medications for older people.

With the knowledge on how medications work, pharmacists can recommend the most appropriate medications for older people. Pharmacists can also recognize and identify medications that are considered inappropriate for older people and suggest for treatment discontinuation or substitution. This will ensure safe use of medications for the older people.

  1. Geriatric Pharmacists can provide solutions to enhance medication adherence of older people

Due to the multiple medications used by older people, many of them may have difficulties in adhering to their treatments. Pharmacists could provide solutions to enhance medication adherence whether by regimen simplification or with the use of medication adherence aids.

  1. Geriatric Pharmacists can provide advice for older people with dysphagia.

Dysphagia or difficulty of swallowing is also another common problem among older people. Dysphagia may cause difficulties for older people to take oral medications especially those in tablet or capsule forms. Some older people may address this issue by crushing the medications and mix them with certain fluids. However, it should be noted that not all medications can be crushed and certain type of fluids such as milk may interact with medications causing them to be ineffective. As experts in drug formulation, pharmacists can provide advice on the best way to consume medications for older people with dysphagia.

  1. Geriatric Pharmacists are trained to provide patient education to older people

Pharmacists can also provide various type of patient education to older people such on the use of medications, smoking cessation, vaccination, falls, etc. Patient education for older people may enhance their health thus improving their quality of life.

  1. Geriatric Pharmacists are the source of information for the caregivers of older people

The caregivers of older people can also consult the pharmacists regarding the use of medications by the older people. It is understandable that medication regimen of older people can be complex. Thus, communication with pharmacists regarding medication use of older people can solve confusion and promote understanding of the topic thus improve older patient care.

  1. Pharmacists are the most accessible front liner in the healthcare profession

Pharmacists are easily accessible. In fact, they the most accessible healthcare providers. However, not all health or medication issues can be solved by the pharmacists alone. In certain cases, a referral to other healthcare providers is required. Pharmacists are trained to refer patients to appropriate destination based on the patients’ need. This ensure continuity of care and promote well-being of older patients.

  1. Geriatric Pharmacists’ role in the well-being of older pilgrims

As part of the religious duties, the Muslims in Malaysia are required to perform Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Most of the pilgrims are older people. Pharmacists may help in promoting their well-being during the pilgrimage by providing adequate advice on vaccination, medication management and adherence, as well as nutrition.

This Geriatric Pharmacy Group aims to promote safe and quality use of medications among older people. We believe that older people can have productive and healthy life through health promotion and maintenance.

We also act as a source of information center to other pharmacists that would like to get advice on older people medication management. The members of this group are well trained in the area.

Our Specialist

Dr Siti Hadijah Shamsudin

Consultant Pharmacist

Dr Muhammad Eid Akkawi

Consultant Pharmacist

Dr Noordin Othman

Pharmacist Consultant

Dr Mohd Shahezwan Abd Wahab

Pharmacist Consultant

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+6 013 482 0150