Polypharmacy in the Elderly: How to Reduce Adverse Drug Events

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Although accreditation for this CE/CME activity has expired, and the posttest is no longer available, you can still read the full article.

Expires January 31, 2019

Managing medications in the elderly can be complicated by the physiologic effects of aging and the prevalence of comorbidities. Consistent use of tools such as the Beers criteria and the STOPP/START criteria, as well as medication reconciliation, can reduce polypharmacy and its adverse drug effects, improving health outcomes in this population.



CE/CME No: CR-1802

Earn credit by reading this article and successfully completing the posttest and evaluation. Successful completion is defined as a cumulative score of at least 70% correct.

• Identify patients who are at the greatest risk for the effects of polypharmacy.
• Recognize which medications are most likely to cause adverse drug events (ADEs) in the elderly population.
• Understand the effects of aging on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medications.
• Learn strategies to reduce the risk for polypharmacy and ADEs, including use of the Beers Criteria and the STOPP/START Criteria.

Kelsey Barclay practices in orthopedic surgery at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, California. Amy Frassetto practices in Ob-Gyn at NewYork-Presbyterian in New York City. Julie Robb practices in emergency medicine at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, New York. Ellen D. Mandel is a Clinical Professor in the Department of PA Studies at Pace University-Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.


This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 1.0 hour of American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Category 1 CME credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel. [NPs: Both ANCC and the AANP Certification Program recognize AAPA as an approved provider of Category 1 credit.] Approval is valid through January 31, 2019.

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