Before we get into the latest news, let’s learn about an important tool called the Beers List.
This list, created by a doctor named Mark Beers, helps doctors decide which medicines are safe for older adults. It’s not just for doctors, though.
The Beers List is also a great tool for older adults and their families to help them understand which medications might cause problems.
Why Do We Need the Beers List?
You might wonder why we need a special list of medications for older adults. The answer lies in how our bodies change as we grow older.
As we age, our bodies work a bit differently, and that includes how we handle medications. Some medicines can be harder for older bodies to handle.
They might stay in the body longer, causing side effects, or they might interact with other medicines. That’s why older adults need to be careful about the medicines they take.
The Beers List to the Rescue
The Beers List helps doctors, patients, and families figure out which medications might be risky for older adults.
It has information on medicines that older adults should avoid, or at least use with caution. It also talks about how certain health conditions can affect how medicines work in the body.
The Beers List was first developed in 1991, and it’s updated every few years to keep up with new research. The most recent version, the 2023 update, is what we’re going to discuss today.
The 2023 Beers List Update
The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) just announced the 2023 update to the Beers List.
The AGS is a group of doctors and other health professionals who specialize in caring for older adults. They have been updating the Beers List since 2011.
For this latest update, a team of experts reviewed over 1,500 research studies published between 2017 and 2022.
They looked at which medications might cause problems for older adults and how certain health conditions can affect how these medications work.
In this new version, they listed more than 40 individual medicines or groups of medicines that older adults should avoid or use with caution.
They also have a special section for medications that should be used carefully if a person has certain diseases or conditions.
The experts made some changes in the list based on new research. They moved some medications to different categories or changed their advice about them.
They also moved some medications to a separate list because they’re not used as much or aren’t available in the United States anymore.
The Beers List: A Tool, Not a Rule
The Beers List is a tool, not a rule. This means that it provides guidance, but it doesn’t make decisions for doctors or patients.
Doctors should use the Beers List to help them think about what medications might be risky for their older patients, but they also need to consider other factors, like what the patient wants and needs.
The AGS says that the Beers List shouldn’t be used to deny health coverage or limit the medications that are available to older adults. Instead, it should help doctors and patients make better decisions about medications.
The Beers List for Everyone
The Beers List isn’t just for doctors. It’s also available as an app and a pocket-sized reference card for anyone to use.
The AGS is working on versions of the Beers List that are easy for everyone to understand, not just doctors.
They’re also creating tools to help older adults and their caregivers understand which medications might be risky.
If you or someone you know is an older adult, the Beers List can be a helpful tool. If you see a medication on the list that you or someone else is taking, you should talk to the doctor about it.
They can help you understand the risks and benefits and make the best decision for you.
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The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
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