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What to Know About Potentially Inappropriate Medications for Older Adults

Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) are treatments that may pose risks that outweigh benefits, particularly for people sixty-five or older. Studies show that about 20 to 60 percent of older adults take potentially inappropriate medicines. Older adults taking potentially inappropriate medicines have an increased risk of being hospitalized, needing to visit the ER, and experiencing harmful reactions.

To help protect older adults, The American Geriatrics Society created the Beers Criteria. For over twenty years, the AGS Beers Criteria has been a vital tool in identifying medication risks and preventing harm to older adults.

What Is the AGS Beers Criteria and What Does It Do?

As the body ages, it changes and evolves. These changes can increase the risk of side effects when taking medications. Older adults often have more health problems and take more medication than younger individuals. The fact that older adults experience more health problems but are also more likely to experience harmful reactions to medications places them at great risks. It’s because older adults are at such a significant risk that it’s essential to identify and help reduce the use of inappropriate medications, which is why the AGS Beers Criteria was developed.

The AGS Beers Criteria is a list that includes medications worth discussing with healthcare providers due to the fact that they may be unsafe or an inappropriate option for older adults. This list is constantly updated based on new research completed to determine how older adults are reacting to certain medications. There are five major elements that researchers consider.

Medications That Are Potentially Inappropriate for Older Adults

Healthcare providers can access a medications list when prescribing for adults sixty-five and older. These are the medications that they should avoid because they generally pose a higher risk of side effects in an older person.

Medications That Are Potentially Inappropriate for Older Adults with Specific Health Problems

As people age, they begin to develop specific diseases or disorders. Certain medications can aggravate or exacerbate conditions in older adults. The AGS Beer criteria will list what medications to avoid concerning specific disorders.

Medications to Be Cautious with Prescribing to Older Adults

Medications on this list can potentially cause side effects. Healthcare providers and patients can carefully monitor how these medications are working. While not every older adult will experience side effects on the medications on this list, some may have severe reactions. It’s crucial for healthcare professionals to have a clear understanding of the medication and their patients’ medical history.

List of Medication Combinations That May Result in Harmful Interactions

Medications for several conditions common in older adults may have harmful side effects if prescribed at the same time. Before assigning multiple medications at once, healthcare providers need a clear understanding of how the medications will react to one another.

Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney at Dalli & Marino

We trust medical professionals to do the proper research and provide us with the best possible healthcare treatments. Unfortunately, there are times when patients are injured because they received treatment that falls below the acceptable standard of care. If you or a loved one has been given a potentially inappropriate medication by a healthcare professional who neglected to do their research, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

At Dalli & Marino, LLP, we understand medical malpractice law and have the skills and resources to build a strong case for our clients. Our medical malpractice attorneys have a track record of successfully representing victims of medical malpractice and winning cases so that they receive the compensation they deserve. To schedule a consultation, call (888) 465-8790 or fill out this form. We also speak Spanish.


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