As an advanced practice nurse assisting physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders, it is important to not only understand the impact of disorders on the body, but also the impact of drug treatments on the body. The relationships between drugs and the body can be described by pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Pharmacokinetics describes what the body does to the drug through absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, whereas pharmacodynamics describes what the drug does to the body. When selecting drugs and determining dosages for patients, it is essential to consider individual patient factors that might impact the patient’s pharmacokinetic and pharamcodynamic processes. These patient factors include genetics, gender, ethnicity, age, behavior (i.e., diet, nutrition, smoking, alcohol, illicit drug abuse), and/or pathophysiological changes due to disease. In this Discussion, you reflect on a case from your past clinical experiences and consider how a particular patient’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes altered his or her response to a drug.
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