Gerontology pp 270-277 | Cite as

Altered Response to Benzodiazepines in the Elderly

  • U. Klotz
Conference paper


In the Federal Republic of Germany the elderly (defined as subjects over 65 years of age) constitute about 15% of the general population and they consume more than 30% of all drugs (WHO 1985). Benzodiazepines (BZDs) are among the most widely used drugs in the elderly and this population at risk demonstrates an approximately two- to threefold higher incidence of side-effects to various BZDs (for review see Klotz 1986). The increased frequency of adverse reactions to BZDs in the elderly has stimulated basic and clinical research in investigating the mechanism(s) of altered drug response with age. Several studies have evaluated the clinically important problem by a combined pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic approach. In general, age-dependent alterations could occur at different levels (see Fig. 1).


Endogenous Ligand Altered Response Digit Symbol Substitution Test Pharmacokinetic Change Paradoxical Reaction 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Klotz
    • 1
  1. 1.Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institut für Klinische PharmakologieStuttgart 50Germany

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