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Definition of Beers criteria

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Beers criteria: Criteria for safe medication use in older adults -- for people over 65 years of age. First issued in 1991, these criteria have been repeatedly revised and updated. In addition to the benzodiazepines, the Beers criteria (or list) has included amiodarone, amitriptyline, cimetidine, clonidine, disopyramide, indomethacin, ketorolac, meperidine, methyldopa, and many antihistamines, antispasmodics, and muscle relaxants. Named for Dr. M.H. Beers, principal author of the original 1991 criteria.

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