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Explain the factors that affect medication action The factors: age, sex, body weight, nutritional status, pathologic and genetic condition, dosage...


Several factors are involved in a medications action. You have already listed many of these. Most dosages of medications are calculated by body weight. The route of administration is also a huge factor. Intravenous medications act almost immediately because they are introduced directly into the cardiovascular system when injected into a vein. By contrast, medications given by mouth take approximately 30-60 minutes to dissolve in the stomach. After dissolving they are absorbed into the bloodstream by the cells lining the stomach. Medications given in shot form into a muscle (IM) take approximately 20-40 minutes to be absorbed into the blood stream.

Age is another factor to consider, generally speaking the older the patient is, the lower the dose should be. Keep in mind though that everyone reacts to medications differently and some older adults will not fall into this category. Further, it depends on the specific medication given.

Pathophysiology of the patient is also a key factor. What is wrong with the patient? What is the diagnosis. Different disease processes require different dosing regimens.

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