With each new revision of the Beers Criteria, the list of psychotropic medications considered potentially inappropriate in the elderly has grown. Opioids have recently been included in a Beers measure of central nervous system (CNS) polypharmacy.1 Prescribing related drug combinations also received increased regulatory attention when the US Food and Drug Administration recently ordered a black-box warning to alert patients of serious risks, including death, caused by opioids coprescribed with CNS depressants. While evidence builds concerning harms of CNS polypharmacy, little is known about the trends in relevant prescribing practices.
Maust DT, Gerlach LB, Gibson A, Kales HC, Blow FC, Olfson M. Trends in Central Nervous System–Active Polypharmacy Among Older Adults Seen in Outpatient Care in the United States. JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 13, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.9225