October 2018 Pharmacy Update

Deprescribing: “Less is More”

With the ongoing efforts to tackle opioid abuse and reduce inappropriate medication use, deprescribing is an important practice that all clinicians and pharmacists should understand and implement in their day-to-day practices.

Goals of Deprescribing:

  1. Benefit > Risk/harm analysis of each medication (Reduce or stop medications that may harm or no longer benefit a patient)
  2. Decreases likelihood of adverse event
  3. Reduces financial burden of patient
  4. May increase medication adherence with simplified regimen
  5. Reduce polypharmacy
  6. Improve patient’s quality of life

What can I do?

  1. Read resources and references below
  2. Identify meds that may be causing side effects
    ex: Antipsychotics and fall risk
  3. Avoid the prescribing cascade by identifying meds being used to treat side effects
    ex: PPI for NSAID use
  4. Identify barriers in your workflow and areas of improvement
  5. Contact SVHP via phone or email to explore how we can help you:⇒Develop a SMART goal (ex: by June 2019, I will reduce the % of opioid prescriptions by 10% by ______ )

    Provide free patient-friendly posters and resources for your practice

    Provide an in-service on deprescribing

    Identify patients eligible for deprescribing efforts

    And more…


For more information and resources, please go to the following:
  1. deprescribing.org
  2. McCarthy D. Reducing Inappropriate Medication Use by Implementing Deprescribing Guidelines. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2017. (Available at ihi.org)
  3. ct.gob/dcp/cwp/view.asp?a=1620&Q=444606&PM=1