, Volume 27, Issue 12, pp 947-957
Date: 31 Aug 2012

Comparison of Published Explicit Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medications in Older Adults

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Several sets of explicit criteria for potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) have been developed by expert consensus. The purpose of this review is to summarize and compare existing criteria to enable more informed choices about their use. After a systematic literature search was conducted, seven examples of criteria published between 1991 and 2009 were included in the review and their individual characteristics are presented. Common medications listed in the majority of these criteria are also summarized. PIMs listed regardless of co-morbidities in all seven criteria sets were long-acting benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants. PIMs regardless of co-morbidities were most similar among the Beers, Rancourt and Winit-Watjana criteria. Several drug-disease interactions such as benzodiazepines and falls were cited in most criteria. With respect to drug-drug interactions, most criteria agreed that concomitant use of warfarin and NSAIDs should be avoided. The prevalence of PIMs varied with patient population, availability of medications in local markets, the specialties of the prescribing physicians and the assessment instruments used. The associations between PIMs use and health outcomes were largely inconclusive because of limited data. Further research is necessary to validate these published criteria in terms of reducing the incidence of adverse drug reactions and improving health outcomes among older adults. Incorporation of these criteria into computer-assisted order entry systems would increase their utilization in daily practice.