Deprescribing: a new goal focused on the patient

Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2017 Feb;16(2):111-112. doi: 10.1080/14740338.2017.1273347. Epub 2016 Dec 26.


It is estimated that one-fifth of adult patients are treated with polypharmacy (five or more drugs) and the prevalence of this phenomenon in the elderly is even higher, ranging from 30% to 70%, even reaching 90% in residents of residential aged care facilities. Polypharmacy in the elderly increases the risk of adverse reactions, inappropriate prescriptions, drug interactions, number of hospitalizations, costs, and even death. In a recent systematic review, the authors proposed defining deprescribing as 'the process of withdrawal of inappropriate medication supervised by a health care professional with the goal of managing polypharmacy and improving outcomes'.

Keywords: Deprescriptions; pharmacoepidemiology; pharmacovigilance; polypharmacy.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Deprescriptions*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing / prevention & control*
  • Polypharmacy*
  • Residential Facilities / statistics & numerical data