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Top 10 Drug Classes to Understand With Adult and Geriatric Patients

presented by Lisa Milliken, MA, CCC-SLP, FNAP, CDP, RAC-CT

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Lisa Milliken receives compensation from MedBridge for this course.

Nonfinancial: Lisa Milliken has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 122 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 75 Minutes

Interprofessional healthcare team members often treat patients with multiple comorbidities and conditions. These patients may require medications for a variety of symptoms and disease processes. However, adverse effects and potential drug-drug interactions may further contribute to the patients' symptoms to be managed. This course provides a quick overview of more than a hundred different medications by categorizing them into the top 10 common categories and describing them according to their actions and effects on the body. Practitioners will also learn precautions such as the drug-drug interactions, drug-disease interactions, and common adverse events to be monitored per drug class. Case studies and monitoring systems will also be provided as practical applications. Further information will be shared, to include evidence-based protocols for medication reconciliation, deprescribing interventions, collaboration and communication initiatives, and education principles for patients and caregivers.

Meet Your Instructor

Lisa Milliken, MA, CCC-SLP, FNAP, CDP, RAC-CT

Lisa Milliken received her BA from Louisiana Tech University and her MA from the University of Memphis in audiology and speech-language pathology. She has since served adults and geriatrics as a clinician, manager, vice president, consultant, compliance manager, and education director and is passionate about mentoring healthcare professionals across the country. She currently provides continuing…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. The Big Picture of Polypharmacy and the Body’s Response to Medications

This chapter will briefly discuss the risks with polypharmacy, including the current evidence related to cognitive and physical decline and other significant precautions. Then the role of increased adverse effects with aging will be shared, to include a summary of the changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, such as those related to changes in body composition, hepatic function, and renal function.

2. Key Points to Understanding Medications That Act on the Central Nervous System

This section provides an overview of the effects of multiple drug classes, including antihistamines and multiple classes of medications that act on the central nervous system (CNS), such as antidepressants, antianxiety medications, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antiepileptics, hypnotics, opioids, and sedatives. Given the potential adverse effects and drug–drug interactions of these medications, a discussion of monitoring systems, precautions, and a case study will be included.

3. Key Points to Understanding Common Antibiotics, Analgesics, and Bronchodilators

This section provides an overview of the effects of three drug classes: antibiotics, analgesics, and bronchodilators. Precautions, monitoring systems, and a case study will be reviewed to facilitate learning.

4. Key Points to Understanding Proton Pump Inhibitors and Statins

This section provides an overview of the effects of hormones, proton pump inhibitors, and statins. Drug–drug interactions, prescribing cascades, and precautions will be reviewed to recommend the needed monitoring systems and ongoing need for medication review.

5. Key Points to Understanding Antidiabetics and Antihypertensives

This section provides an overview of the effects of antidiabetics and antihypertensives, including the significant risk of drug–drug interactions and precautions needed with patients taking medications from either or both of these drug classes. Herbal supplements will also be discussed, including their risks when taken with the abovementioned drug classes as well as with other prescribed medications.

6. Steps to Direct Optimal Clinical Outcomes

This section will include recent evidence for medication reconciliation and deprescribing practices to prevent risks and improve patient outcomes. Collaboration between the interprofessional team members will be stressed to optimize their respective plans of care, as will the recommended education practices to use with the patient and caregiver for the best clinical outcomes.

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