Many drugs which can be prescribed safely and effectively for younger patients are potentially inappropriate for the elderly. A screening tool has been developed in Ireland.
Vermeulen Windsant-van den Tweel, AM. Verduijn, MM. [and] Derijks, HJ. [et al] (2012). [Detection of inappropriate medication use in the elderly; will the STOPP and START criteria become the new Dutch standards?]. Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde, 2012, Vol.156(40), pp.A5076. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Dalleur, O. Spinewine, A. [and] Henrard, S. [et al] (2012). Inappropriate prescribing and related hospital admissions in frail older persons according to the STOPP and START criteria. Drugs and Aging, October 2012, Vol.29(10), pp.829-37. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Ryan, C. O’Mahony, D. [and] Kennedy, J. [et al] (2009). Potentially inappropriate prescribing in an Irish elderly population in primary care. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, December 2009, Vol.68(6), pp.936-47. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Gallagher, P. Baeyens, JP. [and] Topinkova, E. [et al] (2009). Inter-rater reliability of STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Persons’ Prescriptions) and START (Screening Tool to Alert doctors to Right Treatment) criteria amongst physicians in six European countries. Age and Ageing, 2009, Vol.38(5), pp.603-6. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
August 2019 Update
An Age UK report estimates that two million older people in England risk side-effects from potentially unsuitable multiple medications.
‘Multiple medicines’ side-effect risk for over-65s. London: BBC Health News, August 22nd 2019.