Medication use quality and safety in older adults: 2020 update

Tesfahun C Eshetie, Zachary A Marcum, Kenneth E Schmader, Shelly L Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Improving the quality of medication use and medication safety are important priorities for prescribers who care for older adults. The objective of this article was to identify four exemplary articles with this focus in 2020. We selected high-quality studies that moved the field of research forward and were not merely replication studies. The chosen articles cover domains related to deprescribing, medication safety, and optimizing medication use. The first study, a noninferiority randomized clinical trial in England, evaluated whether antihypertensive medication reduction is possible without significant changes in systolic blood pressure control or adverse events over the 12-week follow-up (domain: deprescribing). The second study, a prospective cohort study of women at Kaiser Permanente Southern, California, examined the association between bisphosphonate use and atypical femur fracture (domain: medication safety). The third study examined the effectiveness and safety of a multifaceted antimicrobial stewardship and quality improvement initiative in reducing unnecessary antimicrobial use for unlikely cystitis cases in noncatheterized residents in 25 nursing homes across the United States (domain: optimizing medication use). Lastly, the fourth study, a population-based cohort study in the United Kingdom, examined the association of tramadol use with risk of hip fracture (domain: medication safety). Collectively, this review succinctly highlights pertinent topics related to promoting safe use of medications and promotes awareness of optimizing older adults' medication regimens.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

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