The Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults, informally known as Beers List, is a healthcare professionals’ reference about the safety of prescribing medications for older adults. The criteria are used widely in geriatrics clinical care, training, research, and healthcare policy to develop quality measures. Commonly called the “Beers Criteria”, the reference identifies medications that pose potential risks outweighing potential benefits for people 65 and older. This information helps prevent harmful side effects that may be life-threatening and other “adverse drug events” (ADEs). As the population ages, delivery of safe and effective healthcare in this special population has become increasingly important.
Guess what’s not on the list. Cannabis. Nope. Sorry. Beers list came our of a study made by Dr. Mark Beers. He studies nursing home residents in Boston, Massachusetts being snowed with anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and sedatives. These behavioral modification drugs were causing a lot of problems. They interacted badly with drugs found on this list, and they were over-prescribed. Since there was such a high incident rate of misuse of medicine given to the elderly by the hospital (65%) of those surveyed, he though he’d look into it.
Now you can print out your own handy-dandy pocket guide of bad drug interactions. You’ll need it, you RNAs and LPNs, as you go around doping up your wards. Make sure to fill out all the notes you’re supposed to as you methodically poison your residents and consumers. I feel like I’m in the circus.
Cannabis is better than drugs that kill people. Period.