Even though alcohol dependence is not often found in the elderly, alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse are both common. As the elderly also often take medication on a regular basis, this group is at particularly high risk for problems resulting from the concurrent use of these substances. Physical changes as a result of the aging process (e.g. reduction of body water, decrease of hepatic blood flow) and alcohol related diseases can influence the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of both ethanol as well as other drugs. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), acetaldehydede hydrogenase (ALDH) and cytochrome P450 2E1 are the enzymes responsible for the metabolism of ethanol. These enzymes are also the sites of direct pharmacological interaction between ethanol and other drugs, however, altered effects of medication can also be caused by ethanol adding to or reducing the drug's effect. Although some of these effects result from heavy use of alcohol, others can also occur with moderate use. Interactions have most frequently been described for analgetics, psychopharmacologically active drugs, antihistamines, anticoagulants antihypertensive drugs and antibiotics.