Reducing Medications in the Elderly

By Nancy R. Gough: For More Info, Go Here…

MedSafer is an online tool to identify potentially inappropriate medications.

Many people start taking a long-term prescription medicine sometime during adulthood. A particularly common one is medication for treating high blood pressure, which many people start taking as early as their 30s. As people get older, often more medical problems arise with more specialist doctors seeing the patient and adding more medications to treat the various conditions. Not only is this expensive and potentially wasteful healthcare spending; more importantly, this polypharmacy is risky and can lead to unintended adverse effects.

MedSafer incorporates the deprescribing information from multiple sources, including American Geriatrics Society’s Beers Criteria®, the Screening Tool of Older People’s Prescriptions (STOPP) and Choosing Wisely. The report currently uses information about the patient’s medical history and the medications taken from electronic medical records. It does not integrate genetic data, which is also valuable in ensuring that patients are prescribed appropriate medications. For example, the myopathy associated with some statins occurs in patients with a particular variation in a single gene. It is not a common adverse effect of these medications. Rather, only those people with the gene variant are at risk of developing statin-induced myopathy.

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