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Journal Article > Study
Budnitz DS, Shehab N, Kegler SR, Richards CL. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147:755-765.
The Beers criteria define certain classes of medications (such as long-acting sedatives and anticholinergics) that are considered "always potentially inappropriate" for geriatric patients, and a recent trial demonstrated a reduction in adverse drug events (ADEs) with an intervention targeting prescribing of these medications. However, many elderly patients require medications that are risky but potentially beneficial if used properly. This analysis of emergency department (ED) visits found that nearly 50% of ED visits due to ADEs were related to medications not considered inappropriate according to the Beers criteria—principally, oral anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), antidiabetic agents (eg, insulin), and antiplatelet agents (aspirin and clopidogrel). The authors argue that focusing on improving prescribing safety for these necessary but higher-risk medications may reduce the large burden of ADEs in the elderly to a greater extent than focusing on use of Beers criteria medications.
Journal Article > Government Resource
Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65:1445-1452.
Opioid medications are frequently associated with adverse drug events in inpatient and outpatient settings. This surveillance report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demonstrated that the magnitude of patient harm from opioid use is growing rapidly. Opioid overdose deaths are increasing each year, through 2015, and current rates are the highest ever recorded. The types of opioids most commonly involved in overdose deaths are natural and semisynthetic opioids, which are often prescribed as pain relievers. The authors suggest that the adoption of new prescribing guidelines and more widespread use of the opioid reversal agent naloxone will help address this growing epidemic. An earlier version of this article included data through 2014. A previous WebM&M commentary described a fatal opioid overdose.