Another new book by Andrew Weil, MD. Mind over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better – and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own
It does just what the title says in 18 chapters: statins, GERD, antibiotics, Sleep Aids, etc. etc. The Beers List is the most important information I learned in the whole book, although there are many good tips on drug, inc OTCs, side effects and alternatives. There is an entire chapter on overmedicating the Elderly, and another chapter with an example of overmedication of a 68 yo woman from a pharmacist's experience.
Potentially Harmful Drugs in the Elderly: Beers List
In 1991, Dr. Mark Beers published a methods paper describing the development of a consensus list of medicines considered to be inappropriate for long-term care facility residents.
1 The Beers criteria or “Beers list” is now in its fourth permutation.
2 The latest version is intended for use by clinicians in outpatient as well as inpatient settings to improve the care of patients age 65 years and older.
[That would be me and DH
] The new version includes medications that should be used with extra caution, as well as medications that should be avoided, either in all elderly or in certain populations.
3 An additional tool for improving prescribing in the elderly is the START and STOPP criteria. Neither has been convincingly shown to reduce morbidity, mortality, or cost but are often used by organizations as measures of the quality of prescribing. Use these criteria to identify red flags that might require intervention or close monitoring, not the final word on medication appropriateness. Prescribing decisions must be individualized.
4 The following chart summarizes the updated Beers list and provides potential therapeutic alternatives and other considerations.
It's a long chart and uses the medical name, not the brand name. Dr. Weil's book is easier to digest but then not as complete.
A Washington Post article this morning:
How I almost killed my mom with a simple anti-itch pill
Dr. Weil addresses Benedryl in the sleep aids chapter. I use it very occasionally if sleep is disrupted..but there are a bunch of scary side effects I had been clueless about.