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.
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