Not all individuals respond identically to the same dose of the same drug. These variations can be pharmacokinetic (where the same dose results in a different plasma concentration) and/or pharmacodynamic (where the same plasma concentration causes a different drug response) in origin.

Learning objectives

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

  • Explain how dosing is affected by pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic
    properties of a drug.
  • Discuss the importance of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic drug properties in
    clinical practice.
  • Explain how individual variations (e.g. age, weight) and disease states can affect dosing regimens and drug therapy.

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

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This article discusses the impact renal function, age, body weight and genetics can have on the pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of drugs and therefore their dosing.

Renal function

Most drugs (and their active metabolites) are renally excreted, so when renal function is impaired, there is potential for drug accumulation and toxicity in the absence of dosage adjustment, particularly for those drugs with a low therapeutic i

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