Drugs to avoid or be cautious of in the elderly (2-page Canadian cheat-sheet)

Group member Dorothy emailed me this link recently:


Psychotropic Drugs in the Elderly
Treatment Considerations
Sept 2011
The RxFiles Academic Detailing Program
Saskatoon City Hospital

It’s sort of like a two-page “cheat sheet” for medical professionals on:

  • what medications the elderly should avoid or be cautious of
  • suggested medications for depression, insomnia, pain, psychosis, agitation, anxiety, etc.
  • how to assess and treat what are known as BPSD (behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia)

Throughout the cheat sheet, the acronym SE is used.  This refers to “side effects.”

One thing that is obviously missing — but it’s not part of this chart
— is what medications to avoid if dealing with a person with
Parkinson’s Disease or parkinsonism.  For example, some medications have anti-dopamine effects, and they shouldn’t be given to people to parkinsonism.  A less-sophisticated but more user-friendly list of medications to avoid with PD can be found here:


If you find other things missing or items you would take issue with on the “cheat sheet,” please let me know!  This is the sort of document where more than one reviewer is needed as it’s densely-packed with details.