Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults

I was going to write a post on pain management when this came through my email inbox:

The American Geriatrics Society  is seeking public feedback on the draft AGS Updated  Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults.  It will accept public comments until 5pm on November 28, 2011.

The Criteria focus on:

1. Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Persons: Independent of Diagnoses or Conditions

2. Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Persons Due To Drug – Disease/ Syndrome Interaction

3. Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Persons: Drugs to be used with caution.

Check this out for more detail: http://www.americangeriatrics.org/health_care_professionals/ags_beers_criteria

The document is quite long. Skip to p. 11 if you wish. Realistically, it will be a challenge if all these medications need to be “avoided.” I do take issue when I see long-term prescriptions of benzos, certain pain meds, and the overuse of antipsychotics for behavioral management in individuals with dementia. What are your thoughts?

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About C

If you consider volunteering at a luncheon for older adults as my first exposure to the field, I have been in geropsychology for at least twenty years. As family, friend, volunteer, trainee, and professional, I have found myself in adult day care centers, senior centers, senior living facilities, nursing homes, medical and psychiatric wards, hospice, and personal homes of older adults. Wherever I go, be it an orphanage, a museum, a prison, an airport, or a random corner in the neighborhood, issues related to aging and mental health often come to mind. I used to think that I could make a difference only if I became a top-notch researcher, educator, or clinician. As I continue to follow this meandering path, it dawns on me that as a nobody in the field, I can still add my light to the sum of light by sharing what I know. Over the years, I have "converted" a few very dedicated individuals to focus on aging-related work within their respective disciplines and encouraged a handful more to stay in this field despite its winding course. I believe by bringing aging and mental health issues to the foreground, we will amass a stronger force to promote advocacy, research, and quality care.
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