Article by American Family Physician, www.aafp.org

The Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults (i.e., at least 65 years of age), originally developed by Mark H. Beers in 1991, continue to be used by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) to provide guidance regarding medications that should be avoided in most older patients or in certain situations. The goals are to improve medication selection, educate physicians and patients, avoid adverse effects, and help evaluate care quality and medication use trends for older adults.

Key Points for Practice

  • Avoid most antipsychotics in patients with Parkinson disease complicated by psychosis, although quetiapine, clozapine, and pimavanserin may be used with caution.
  • Avoid using rivaroxaban and dabigatran in older adults because of a higher bleeding risk than warfarin and other direct oral anticoagulants.
  • Avoid tramadol use because of the risk of hyponatremia from syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion.
  • Avoid prescribing opioids with benzodiazepines or gabapentinoids because the combinations increase the risk of severe respiratory depression.

From the AFP Editors

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