Case scenario

Alexandra, a 73-year-old woman (51 kg), asks to speak with you. Alexandra has persistent symptomatic heart failure and is prescribed digoxin 125 microgram daily; she has been taking digoxin for the past three years. Alexandra complains of abdominal pain, blurred vision and feeling nauseous and weak. She thinks it is caused by her new medicine, Eryc (erythromycin 500 mg 4 times a day for 10 days) that was prescribed for a lower respiratory tract infection while she was on holidays last week. Alexandra was told to take the new medicine on an empty stomach and wonders if this is the reason that she is nauseous.

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics on drug dosing
  • Discuss the importance of drug kinetic and dynamic properties in clinical practice
  • Define half-life, steady state, volume of distribution and bioavailability.

Competency standards addressed (2016): 1.4, 1.5, 3.1, 3.5

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Introduction

As medicines experts, it is imperative that pharmacists understand pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles. These principles are used daily in phar

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