Beers Criteria (Beers List): Drugs to Avoid or Use with Caution in Older Adults

By John S. James, 2018-02-01

Pills with caution sign
Some meds need special cautions for older people.

Every few years the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) revises its list of drugs to use carefully (or not at all) in persons aged 65 or older. The latest revision was published in 2015. AGS, through its Health in Aging Foundation (HealthinAging.org), also published information for patients and caregivers. While most of the drugs by prescription in the U.S., some are over the counter.

It's a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist if drugs you are taking are on this list. But check with one of them before stopping. Some drugs are dangerous to stop abruptly, and some may need to be replaced with alternatives. Or it may be important to continue the drug despite its side effects.

For patients and caregivers, the 2-page simplified partial list is Ten Medications Older Adults Should Avoid or Use with Caution. Also see Medications & Older Adults: The 2015 American Geriatrics Society Updated Beers Criteria: Medications that Older Adults Should Avoid or Use with Caution

The full list for healthcare professionals is American Geriatrics Society 2015 updated Beers Criteria for potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults, at a government site for medical guidelines. You might also want to check How to Use the American Geriatrics Society 2015 Beers Criteria—A Guide for Patients, Clinicians, Health Systems, and Payors.

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