New Criteria Identify Commonly Prescribed Drugs that are Potentially Risky for Older Adults

A wide range of medications—some relatively new and others long available—can cause serious side effects and other adverse events in people 65 and older if not prescribed with care, according to the new American Geriatrics Society Updated Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. The criteria, last revised in 2003, appeared a March 2012 online edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, and is available, with additional professional and public education materials. Fifty-three medications or medication classes encompass the final updated Criteria, which are divided into three categories: potentially inappropriate medications and classes to avoid in older adults, potentially inappropriate medications and classes to avoid in older adults with certain diseases and syndromes that the drugs listed can exacerbate, and finally medications to be used with caution in older adults.
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