Polypharmacy Reduction Strategies: Tips on Incorporating American Geriatrics Society Beers and Screening Tool of Older People's Prescriptions Criteria

Clin Geriatr Med. 2017 May;33(2):177-187. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2017.01.007. Epub 2017 Feb 14.


There is no single definition of polypharmacy. Use of 5 or more medications commonly is used. An alternative, quantitative definition, such as use of more medications than clinically indicated or use of unnecessary or harmful prescribing, has been proposed. Protocols or algorithms to improve polypharmacy and prescribing in older adults have been developed. The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Beers Criteria and Screening Tool of Older People's Prescriptions (STOPP) explicit criteria reflect elements that are common across protocols and algorithms. Concepts in AGS Beers and STOPP can be incorporated into polypharmacy reduction strategies to improve outcomes of care for older adults.

Keywords: Aged/aging; Explicit criteria; Medication use; Polypharmacy; Potentially inappropriate medications; Prescribing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control*
  • Geriatrics / standards*
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing / prevention & control*
  • Incidence
  • Polypharmacy*
  • Potentially Inappropriate Medication List / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • United States / epidemiology