Updating the beers criteria
What is concerning is that these agents — for example, antipsychotics used to treat delirium — may be less useful, and thus more harmful, than previously thought.
When considering a medication that is not included in the Criteria, clinicians can apply what they know of the drug’s potential adverse effects on the general population.
This is not meant to imply that opioids should always be avoided.
The increasing geriatric population has been a factor in the growth of the field, and today, geriatric pharmacy is a more recognizable practice and career choice.
The Beers Criteria were updated in 2015 to reflect current best practices.
Notable additions and changes include: Most prescribers have not received education or training in geriatrics, thus guidance resources, such as the AGS Beers Criteria, are important tools to assist them in providing the highest quality care possible to their older patients.
The aging of the population and the challenges it brings to healthcare, such as the increased harms caused by medication and the subsequent costs, cannot be ignored. They are one of the most frequently consulted quality standards for prescribing medications safely to older adults. For many medications, there are little data about the safety and efficacy in the older population.
To help increase the awareness of the risks of medication use in the elderly, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) maintains and updates the Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use for Geriatrics, which were initially written by the late Dr. Even for new medications, relatively few patients over age 75 are included in clinical trials, yet we still use these medications in older people.
But when adding an opioid to an older patient’s regimen, it is important to review the other CNS depressants on the regimen to see if they could be discontinued or the dose decreased.