Medication Use in the Elderly - Mercy Medical Center

Medication Use in the Elderly

Posted on: August 25, 2016

As practitioners know, older adults are at a greater risk of medication side effects and adverse events than the general population. The American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults assists in the mindful prescribing of medications for older adults.

Along with a list of potentially inappropriate medications for all patients over the age of 65, the updated guideline includes: 

  • A list of medications that should be avoided in certain disease states
  • Medications that may need dose adjustments due to age-related kidney dysfunction
  • A list of drug interactions that should be avoided

A separate document published by the American Geriatrics Society is available for suggestions of alternative medication options for certain drug classes.

The guideline is meant to identify medications where the risks frequently outweigh the benefits in this population.

*The full list of potentially inappropriate medications can be accessed at geriatricscareonline.org. Also, Mercy Pharmacy Services has a laminated pocket reference available with the latest recommendations.

  1. American Geriatrics Society 2015 Updated Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015;63(11):2227-46.
  2. Hanlon JT, Semla TP, Schmader KE. Alternative Medications for Medications in the Use of High-Risk Medications in the Elderly and Potentially Harmful Drug-Disease Interactions in the Elderly Quality Measures. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015;63(12):e8-e18.
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