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Disciplines: Advanced Practice Nursing
Hours: 4 Contact Hours
(4 Pharm Hours)
Author(s): Demetra Antimisiaris, PharmD, CGP, FASCP
Peer Reviewer(s):
  • Kirby Lee, PharmD, MA, MAS
  • Karen Hurka-Richardson, ANP-BC, MSN, BSN, RN
Item#: N1711
Contents: 1 Course Book (48 pages)
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Approaches to Geriatric Pharmacology

Price $22.95
Item # N1711
High-Level Content
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: June 23, 2016

Expiration Date: June 30, 2019

With an aging population come several alarming statistics regarding medication use in older adults. The leading causes of adverse drug events in the older adult population are inappropriate prescribing, inappropriate dosing, and inferior monitoring. Inappropriate monitoring of medication use is accountable for 50% of all drug-related emergency department visits resulting in hospitalization. The vulnerability of older adults is a challenge to the healthcare system, and with respect to medication use, this represents a strong advanced practice registered nurse intervention opportunity.

Any medication problem experienced by an older adult patient requires a multifactorial assessment. The topics covered in this course include core geriatric assessment principles that all disciplines caring for older adults are required to understand, geriatric pharmacological principles, and methods to assess appropriateness of medication use recommendations in the older adult. Individualization of care, a key concept in providing appropriate medication use in older adults, requires skills beyond the conventional assessment of adherence and efficacy. Core competencies include vigilant attention to the older adult’s risk of drug toxicity, appropriate application of adult clinical guidelines to older adults, risk versus benefit assessments, goals of therapy appropriate for older adults in alignment with patient preferences, and optimization of functional status.

This course is for the advanced practice registered nurse who manages the treatment and care of the older adult in all healthcare settings. It provides theoretical framework to apply principles to overall medication management as well as to specialized therapeutic categories of medication use, such as cardiovascular, endocrinological, pulmonary, and psychotropic.


Course Objectives

  • Outline a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment as it applies to geriatric pharmacotherapy assessment.
  • Discuss the importance of individualized goals of care for frail older adults.
  • Describe atypical symptom presentation in frail older adult patients.
  • Explain the characteristics of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Identify factors influencing pharmacotherapy outcomes in older adults that typically are not of concern in younger patients.
  • Explain the physiological changes that occur in older adults as well as special mechanisms and considerations of geriatric pharmacology.
  • List examples of medication-related harm that may occur to a patient with impaired swallowing when a drug dosage form is altered.
  • Indicate the appropriate formula to estimate drug dose adjustments in the older adult patient per U.S. Food and Drug Administration dose adjustment recommendations.
  • Examine an older adult patient’s complex medication regimen and address factors commonly overlooked when utilizing the usual approach appropriate for younger patients.
  • List examples of social environmental parameters that can potentially affect an older adult’s medication use outcomes.
  • Identify two clinical tools or resources that can help advanced practice registered nurses provide medication management for older adults.


Demetra Antimisiaris, PharmD, CGP, FASCP, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of the Pacific. She completed a geriatric clinical pharmacy residency at the Veterans Administration Medical Center – Sepulveda/University of California, Los Angeles. This institution had an innovative geriatric evaluation unit, one of the first in the country, where it developed and tested methods of the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment. Its faculty, whose energy and passion for quality geriatrics training produced many of the leaders in geriatrics today, mentored her. Dr. Antimisiaris is a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) and a certified geriatric pharmacist. Her research interests include multi-stakeholder decision making regarding medication use as well as health systems root cause analysis as related to medication use outcomes. At the University of Louisville, Dr. Antimisiaris teaches pharmacology to second-year medical students and dental students as well as instructs interdisciplinary postgraduate training programs on medication management topics.

Dr. Antimisiaris leads an endowed program, the University of Louisville Polypharmacy and Medication Management Program. This program, unique among medical schools in the United States, is dedicated exclusively to improving outcomes related to polypharmacy through education, research, and outreach. Her educational and research efforts extend to peer-reviewed journals, live conference sessions, radio, television, a book chapter, and continuing educational material. She serves on the ASCP education and research committee, leads its preceptor development committee, and advises several organizations on medication use education. Dr. Antimisiaris has a strong interest in working with interdisciplinary professionals and learners to improve mutual understanding and education regarding medication use.


Kirby Lee, PharmD, MA, MAS, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He received his Doctorate of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Practice Residency Training, Health Policy Fellowship, and Masters in Clinical Research Methods from UCSF. He has completed programs in mobile health design from Tufts University and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Lee teaches pharmacy, medical, nursing, physical therapy, and dental students as well as residents. His clinical practice focuses on pharmacology, and he also teaches courses on it. Dr. Lee is the Director of the Medication Management Module for the Care Ecosystem Project, which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services fund. The module incorporates innovative technology to screen for medication-related problems and provides assistance with medication management for dementia patients and their caregivers in conjunction with an interdisciplinary team. Dr. Lee’s research focuses on improving the quality and safety of medication use for patients with chronic disease. He designs patient-centered health information technology interventions to improve medication safety and health outcomes using dashboards, website portals, and mobile applications. In 2011, he established and began directing the Patient Health Information Technology Lab, which demonstrates and tests website and mobile applications for medication management. Dr. Lee served on the editorial Advisory Board for PLOS ONE, and regularly reviews articles for The Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, and other journals. He is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and the Mobile Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

Karen Hurka-Richardson, ANP-BC, MSN, BSN, RN, is currently a nurse practitioner working in geriatric primary care at a continuing care retirement community in Chapel Hill, NC. She received a Master of Science in Nursing in the Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in 2008. She completed her BSN at Johns Hopkins University in 2003. Prior to working in geriatrics, she was a nurse practitioner in the Department of Neurosurgery at UNC Hospitals where her primary focus of care was on spine patients. She has nursing experience in psychiatry, utilization review, hospice, HIV/AIDS, and intensive care.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.