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Administration of psychotropic medications is potentially hazardous and can result in serious and sometimes fatal consequences for patients of all ages (Usher, Lindsay, Holmes, & Luck, 2003). This is even more evident for high-risk populations such as older adults. Nurses in all practice settings caring for elderly patients should be familiar with this group of medications, their side effects, and the impact of age-related changes on their pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Careful assessment, close monitoring of potentially serious side effects, and use of nonpharmacological interventions when possible will help prevent potential deleterious or fatal effects on this highly vulnerable group.

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