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Review
, 13 (1), 15-22

STOPP/START Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medications/Potential Prescribing Omissions in Older People: Origin and Progress

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Review

STOPP/START Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medications/Potential Prescribing Omissions in Older People: Origin and Progress

Denis O'Mahony. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol.

Abstract

Introduction: STOPP (Screening Tool of Older Persons' Prescriptions) and START (Screening Tool to Alert to Right Treatment) are explicit criteria that facilitate medication review in multi-morbid older people in most clinical settings. This review examines the clinical trial evidence pertaining to STOPP/START criteria as an intervention.Areas covered: The literature was searched for registered clinical trials that used STOPP/START criteria as an intervention. In single-center trials, applying STOPP/START criteria improved medication appropriateness, reduced polypharmacy, reduced adverse drug reactions (ADRs), led to fewer falls, and lower medication costs. Two large-scale multi-center trials (SENATOR and OPERAM) examined the impact of computer-generated STOPP/START criteria on incident ADRs (SENATOR) and drug-related hospitalizations (OPERAM) in multi-morbid older people. Results of these trials will be publicized in 2020.Expert opinion: Applying STOPP/START criteria improves clinical outcomes in multi-morbid older people. Electronic deployment of STOPP/START criteria is a substantial technical challenge; however, recent clinical trials of software prototypes demonstrate feasibility. Even with well-functioning software for the application of STOPP/START criteria, the need remains for face-to-face interaction between attending clinicians and appropriately trained personnel (likely pharmacists) to explain and qualify specific STOPP/START recommendations in individual multi-morbid older patients. Such interaction is essential for the implementation of relevant STOPP/START recommendations.

Keywords: Adverse drug event; STOPP/START criteria; adverse drug reaction; elderly; hospital; inappropriate prescribing; nursing home; patient safety; prevention; primary care.

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