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Recently, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) released the 2023 AGS Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. For more than 20 years, the Beers Criteria® have been a valuable resource for healthcare providers about the safety of prescribing drugs for older people.
Your healthcare provider may choose to substitute alternatives in place of potentially inappropriate medications included in the AGS Beers Criteria®. Some of these alternatives are listed below and focuses on medications that are tracked in various quality measures, which are used by U.S. health plans to measure performance on important aspects of care.
- Never stop taking a medication without first talking to your healthcare provider, even if a medication you’re taking is listed on the AGS Beers Criteria®.
- Know about the medications you are taking. Ask your clinician or pharmacist about the medications you are taking and their potential side effects. If you’re experiencing any symptoms, ask if they could be related to a medication you are taking or if it may be a sign of another problem. Use only trusted, reliable sources (such as MedlinePlus) to look up information.
- Review your medications regularly. You should regularly review all of the medications you are taking with your clinicians and pharmacists. You should report any problems with your medications, including any side effects, questions you may have about them, or any problems with taking them as prescribed (such as cost). These reviews should occur at least once a year as well as any time a new medication is prescribed.
|Medication Class/Examples||Possible Alternatives to Discuss with your Healthcare Provider|
|NOTE: This is only a partial list of medications. Medications listed in parentheses are examples of brand names of the generic medications listed.|
|First Generation Antihistamines
(used for allergies)
used for depression
||For epilepsy, anticonvulsants such as:
||Ask your healthcare provider about other strategies to improve your sleep (without medications).|
|Pain Medication (NSAIDs)
People with chronic kidney disease or chronic renal failure should avoid all non-aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).
| These alternatives listed are for moderate pain:
|Benzodiazepines (often used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders as well as other conditions)
People with a history of falls should avoid benzodiazepines, such as:
| For moderate or severe anxiety:
For sleep or anxiety:
| Hormone Therapy
|| For hot flashes and night sweats:
For vaginal dryness:
Last updated May 2023