A Closer Look at the 2015 Beers Criteria

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The Beers Criteria identifies potentially inappropriate medications for patients who are 65 years of age and older. Initially published in 1991, the criteria have been updated multiple times, most recently in 2015. The Beers Criteria is a tool designed to alert health-care providers to the potential harms of specific medications so they may better tailor therapeutic regimens for their elderly patients. The expert panel of the 2015 update made changes to a number of previous recommendations and provided 2 new tables on select drug interactions and select medications requiring renal dose adjustments. The purpose of this review is to provide additional details and rationale behind selected noteworthy changes within the 2015 criteria. Specific information is provided on the changes in recommendations for the use of nitrofurantoin, antiarrhythmics, nonbenzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics, antipsychotics, and proton pump inhibitors in the elderly. Additional comparisons are made between the 2012 recommendations and newer recommendations made in the 2015 update, along with rationale for the change. This review will allow practitioners to apply the 2015 Beers Criteria and integrate their clinical judgment when evaluating and selecting drug therapy for elderly patients.

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