Geriatric Pharmacology

Publication ID Published Version
124 January 24, 2005 1
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine


This team learning session was designed to instruct students in issues related to geriatric pharmacology and strategies for prescribing in the elderly. The materials were used in a 2 hour session facilitated by an MD and PhD for content expertise in both basic and clinical science and to bring clinical relevance to the basic science material. This module is part of a year-long course in pharmacology using multiple team learning modules to teach content. Using team learning, a single faculty is able to facilitate small group work in a large classroom setting. Students are more engaged and active in the learning process and some data suggest better educational outcomes. The presence of the clinician in the room greatly aided the students' appreciation of the importance of the core concepts. The application cases and questions significantly helped students see how aspects of the basic science (pharmacokinetics) are most likely to "play out" in clinical practice.


McMahon K. Geriatric Pharmacology. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2005. Available from:

Contains time-sensitive information that will likely be inaccurate, obsolete, or irrelevant by July 09, 2010

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to explain how ageing-related decline in organ function impacts pharmacokinetics with specific emphasis on the kidneys, liver, blood volume and skeletal muscle.
  2. To be able to describe ageing-related concerns for the use of digoxin, warfarin, NSAIDS, sedative/hypnotics, and drugs with anticholinergics effects.
  3. To be able to explain how poly-pharmacology, including over-the-counter medications and changes in cognitive and physical function impact on adverse effects in geriatric populations.
  4. To be able to describe how the pathologies commonly seen in the geriatric population are expected to lead to predictable complications.
  5. To be able to avoid over-medication of the elderly.
  6. To be able to manage clinical situations of pathologies in or drug-related problems in geriatric individuals.


  • Aging, Toxicology, Pharmacokinetics, Polypharmacy, Drug Therapy, Elderly, TBL, Team-Based Learning


  • Medical
    • Internal Medicine
      • Geriatric Medicine


  • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement

Instructional Methods

  • Case-based Instruction/Learning
  • Team-based Learning (TBL)

Academic Focus

  • Basic Sciences
    • Pharmacology/Toxicology
  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Medical Student
    • Pharmacy Student
  • Professional School Post-Graduate Training
    • Fellow
    • Resident


  • Evaluation Tool

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