Altered pharmacology and toxicology during ageing: implications for lung disease

A. Bast*, M. Drent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Purpose of review Drug use in elderly people is high compared to younger people. Simultaneously, elderly are at greater risk when exposed to environmental substances. It is puzzling therefore, that ageing, as a variable in pharmacological and toxicological processes is not investigated in more depth. Moreover, recent data suggest that molecular manifestations of the ageing process also hallmark the pathogenesis of chronic lung diseases, which may impact pharmacology and toxicology. Recent findings In particular, absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) processes of drugs and toxins alter because of ageing. Polypharmacy, which is quite usual with increasing age, increases the risk of drug-drug interactions. Individual differences in combination of drugs use in conjunction with individual variations in drug metabolizing enzymes can influence lung function. Exploring exposure throughout life (i.e. during ageing) to potential triggers, including polypharmacy, may avoid lung disease or unexplained cases of lung damage. Understanding of the ageing process further unravels critical features of chronic lung disease and helps to define new protective targets and therapies. Optimizing resilience can be key in pharmacology and toxicology and helps in maintaining healthy lungs for a longer period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-320
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • ageing
  • pharmacogenetics
  • pulmonary fibrosis
  • resilience
  • senolytics
  • COPD


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