• 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference: Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older AdultsJoin us at the 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference:
    Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults

    April 14-18, 2020, Honolulu, HI.

    Earn up to 18 CNE hours.


    Find out more about it and REGISTER today!

  • W A N T E D   G A P N A   L E A D E R S!
    Call for Nominations!

    Have you ever considered stepping forward, accepting the challenge and volunteering for a position on the 2020-21 National Board of Directors? Register online NOW by March 22, 2020!

    Step Up - NOW is the Time! Register Here>

  • AwardNew for GAPNA members: MCM Education

    GAPNA has partnered with a MCM Education to offer an ongoing series of CNE programs available to GAPNA members. "Diagnosing and Managing Parkinson’s Disease in Older Adults," is the latest program offered.

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by both motor and nonmotor symptoms. It is diagnosed based on the presence of two of four motor symptoms including rest tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and gait imbalance...

    Find out about it!

  • ConventionCALL FOR: Podium and Poster Abstracts

    For the 38th GAPNA Annual Conference
    at the Hyatt Regency
    New Orleans, LA, September 24-26, 2020

    GAPNA members are invited to submit an abstract about their innovative work, that should enrich the APRN's knowledge and/or enhance the care of an older adult. Deadline March 15, 2020.

    Find out more info and deadline dates

  • FREE CE for GAPNA MembersFREE continuing education credit is available for the following session:

    "Update in Chronic Kidney Disease Management and Prescribing"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)

    For January/February 2020 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

Several Risk Factors Point to the Use of High-Risk Medications in Older Veterans

Certain medications are not appropriate for the elderly and may cause more harm than good.

These include certain antihistamines, analgesics, muscle relaxants, psychotropics, and cardiac medications. A list of these medications has been established by the National Committee on Quality Assurance to be used as a benchmark by Medicare and other managed care plans.

Although use of these high-risk medications showed a modest decline between 2003 and 2006, some medications rose in usage.

Researchers retrospectively looked at medication use by 1,567,467 veterans 65 years of age and older, who received care from 2003 to 2006 from outpatient clinics run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The veterans’ exposure to these high-risk medications decreased from 13.1% in 2004 to 12.3% in 2006. Significant reductions were found for opioid pain relievers, muscle relaxants, psychotropics, endocrine medications, cardiac drugs, and vasodilator medications.

However, relative increases were discovered for amphetamines (10.3%), and ketorolac (8%).

A statistically significant increase in exposure was also found for the antibiotic nitrofurantoin (36.5%). Patients more likely to be exposed to these high-risk medications were female, Hispanic, took a higher number of medications, had a co-existing psychiatric problem, and had a high use of primary care.

For more info, see Pugh et al. (2011). Trends in use of high-risk medications for older veterans: 2004 to 2006. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 59(10),  1891-1898.

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