Deprescribing to Reduce Medication Use: Will This Help Your Patient?

Robert H Howland
Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services 2016 November 1, 54 (11): 21-24
Polypharmacotherapy is a commonly used, but frequently criticized, clinical practice. Deprescribing is the process of discontinuing inappropriate or unnecessary medications, with the goals of decreasing adverse events and drug-drug interactions, simplifying medication regimens to enhance adherence, and reducing costs associated with medication use while maintaining or improving clinical outcomes. Studies of groups of patients suggest that deprescribing medication is feasible and safe, but individual experiences are masked by group data. Although deprescribing can decrease medication exposure, evidence of the effectiveness of deprescribing medication on improving clinical outcomes is conflicting or lacking. Medication necessity or appropriateness should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and from visit to subsequent visit over time. Deprescribing medication should be accompanied by vigilant monitoring for adverse drug withdrawal effects or relapse of an underlying condition. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 54 (11), 21-24.].

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