Deprescribing and Polypharmacy Guides

Deprescribing is an active process of tapering, withdrawing, discontinuing or stopping a medication that has been assessed to be no longer needed, ineffective, inappropriate or unsafe for the patient.

The goal of deprescrbing is to to reduce polypharmacy, medication burden, the risk of adverse drug reactions, medication waste and to improve or maintain quality of life for the patient.

Deprescribing is an important element of medicines optimisation and forms part of a comprehensive medication review to identify the point at which drugs are no longer providing a worthwhile benefit and may actually be causing harm.  This is of particular worth in frail or elderly patients with mutiple morbidies and associated reduced physiological reserve.

Further information can be found in the below HSCB supplement and websites:

TitleDescriptionDate addedDownload
Deprescribing supplement - May 2019 Background to deprescribing; Benefits of deprescribing; Area of focus; Drugs for overactive bladder; Antidepressants; Bisphosphonates; Betahaistine; Mucolytics ; Benzodiazepines; Pain Medicines for Persistent Pain; Pregabalin and Gabapentin; Opioids; Co-proxamol ; Lidocaine plasters ; Methocarbamol 23/05/2019 Download