Benefits of deprescribing on patients' adherence to medications

Int J Clin Pharm. 2014 Feb;36(1):26-9. doi: 10.1007/s11096-013-9871-z.


Deprescribing is a holistic process of medication cessation that encompasses gaining a comprehensive medication list, identifying potentially inappropriate medications, deciding if the identified medication can be ceased, planning the withdrawal regimen and monitoring, support and follow-up. It is currently being investigated as a mechanism to reduce unnecessary or redundant medications. However, given the systematic and patient-centred nature of the deprescribing process, it is possible that it may also confer additional benefits such as improving adherence to medications, even if there is no net reduction in overall medication use. Specifically, deprescribing may improve adherence via reducing polypharmacy, reducing the financial costs associated with medication taking, increasing the patient's medication knowledge through education, increasing patient engagement in medication management and resolution of adverse drug reactions. More research into deprescribing must be conducted to establish if these potential benefits can be realised, in addition to establishing any negative consequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Polypharmacy*
  • Prescription Fees