If you live in the UK, then you’ve probably not heard of Beers Criteria. However, irrespective of what continent you live on, this list of medicines, compiled by the American Geriatric Society, could be a lifesaver if you are over the age of 65.
Beers Criteria… A must have
Beers Criteria is a list of drugs that elderly patients are best to avoid. The first Beers Criteria was originally compiled back in the ’90s as a listing of dangerous drugs given to care home residents, after a study at Duke University found that at least one in five people over the age of 65 was taking at least one “drug of concern.” It has since been revised to include 28 types of drugs that all older people should avoid like the plague.
Not only are these drugs dangerous on their own, but the more drugs you’re taking, the higher the risk of suffering with serious complications as a result of drug interactions.
Some of the most important drugs to steer clear of are the medications that will increase your risk of falling – something that can become a death sentence for many elderly patients.
In fact, these mood-and-mind-altering drugs – like Valium, Abilify, Risperdal and Seroquel – top the list of medications to steer clear of.
But it’s not just sedatives and antidepressants that are risky for the elderly.
Many medicines on Beers Criteria are also for treating things like common allergies and eczema, Parkinson’s disease, atrial fibrillation (A-fib) and muscle cramps.
Beers Criteria was last updated in 2012, meaning that newly approved drugs may not be on it. However, it’s still a fairly comprehensive rundown of the (many) medications that are just too dangerous to take, especially for the elderly.
To check if any drugs you or a loved one are taking are on the list, click here:
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“Potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults” healthinaging.org