, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 483-490
Date: 24 Jan 2014

Potentially inappropriate prescribing to the elderly: comparison of new protocol to Beers criteria with relation to hospitalizations for ADRs

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Abstract

Purpose

Screening tools for detecting potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) represent an important way to assess drug prescribing in the elderly. Recently, we introduced a new comprehensive tool to detect both PIMs and clinically important drug-drug interactions (DDI). The aim of the study was to assess the applicability of the new tool.

Methods

The new tool was used to detect PIMs and DDI and to assess their relation to morbidity and hospital admissions. It was also compared to the widely used Beers criteria. The study population included 454 consecutive patients aged ≥65 years who were acutely admitted to the Department of Internal Medicine of the University Hospital of Osijek. The Naranjo protocol was used to analyze the causal relationship between a drug and an adverse event.

Results

According to the new protocol, 44 % patients were taking PIMs, while 33 % patients were taking drugs with potentially serious DDIs. In 11 % of the overall number of patients, the cause of admission was adverse drug reaction (ADR), and among contributing drugs, 44 % were potentially inappropriate according to our protocol. Gastrointestinal bleeding was the most common diagnosis causing ADR-associated admission, and in 72 % cases, either PIM or a potentially serious DDI was involved.

Conclusion

The new Croatian tool detected a high number of patients taking PIMs and/or having potentially important drug-drug interactions. The tool also detected almost half of the drugs contributing to ADR-associated admission. We expect the tool to be useful in prescription evaluation for the elderly inpatient and outpatient population.