Aging is a complex, normal, and inevitable process affecting all living things. The physiologic changes of aging, by definition, are postmaturational, occurring after adult maturity is achieved. Changes with aging are primary, irreversible, and progressive. While the processes of aging are neither pathology nor disease, they present important changes in structure and function that alter drug disposition, metabolic rate, and excretion. These changes present special challenges to clinicians in critical care settings for whom pharmacotherapy is a common treatment modality. This article explores the physiologic changes associated with aging and the implications of these changes for management of critically compromised elders. Drug metabolism, distribution, utilization, and excretion in older adults are examined

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