The Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults , commonly called the Beers List ,  are guidelines for healthcare professionals to help improve the safety of prescribing medications for older adults. They emphasize deprescribing medications that are unnecessary , which helps to reduce the problems of polypharmacy , drug interactions , and adverse drug reactions , thereby improving the risk—benefit ratio of medication regimens in at-risk people. The criteria are used in geriatrics clinical care to monitor and improve the quality of care. They are also used in training, research, and healthcare policy to assist in developing performance measures and document outcomes. These criteria include lists of medications in which the potential risks may be greater than the potential benefits for people 65 and older. By considering this information, practitioners may be able to reduce harmful side effects caused by such medications.
Drug-related problems and deprescribing in older adults
Drug prescribing for older adults in the USA | Motherhealth
While news reports focus on an epidemic of opioid abuse among young adults, another totally legal and usually hidden drug epidemic is occurring at the other end of the age spectrum: the fistfuls of remedies — both prescription and over-the-counter — taken by older adults. According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, people aged 65 to 69 take an average of 15 prescriptions a year, and those aged 80 to 84 take 18 prescriptions a year. Many of these supposed remedies are unnecessary or used incorrectly and can result in distressing and even dangerous side effects. For example, taking aspirin or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug NSAID like ibuprofen could increase the risk of bleeding in patients on a prescribed anticoagulant like coumadin.
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As you get older, your body changes. Older people often have more health problems and take more medications than younger people. Because of this, older adults are more likely to experience harmful interactions between different medications. In fact, one in six adults age 65 or older will likely have one or more harmful reactions to a medication or medications. The AGS understands that older adults, healthcare providers, and other people and organizations involved in health care might benefit from suggestions for alternatives to potentially inappropriate medications.
Age-related decline in renal and hepatic function can result in slower metabolism of drugs. In addition, a majority of older adults suffer from renal or liver diseases. A prescribing cascade may be set in motion when a drug prescribed for one disease causes or aggravates another disease.