As professionals working in the ID/DD community, we serve people who are sometimes prescribed a multitude of medications. Understanding a medication's desired therapeutic effect and recognizing any adverse effects of the medication are tools we can use to promote safety and improve support services among the people we serve.
During this presentation, we will examine the basic principles of pharmacodynamics (what drugs do to the body) and pharmacokinetics (what happens to drugs in the body). Diving into drug management issues, we will identify challenges faced with polypharmacy among vulnerable populations such as people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and older adults. We will also discuss the consequences of overprescribing and how optimal therapy can be achieved. We will review risk factors for the development of adverse drug effects and highlight some key concepts regarding drug interactions with other medications and disease processes. Lastly, we will highlight some troublesome medications and ways to prevent polypharmacy when working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.