Deprescribing in Real Time: Hospitalized Septuagenarian With Polypharmacy

Cureus. 2023 Jun 20;15(6):e40699. doi: 10.7759/cureus.40699. eCollection 2023 Jun.


Polypharmacy is a common and potentially preventable contributor to recurring emergency room visits, hospitalization, morbidity, and mortality. Its consequences are magnified in older adults due to the age-related decrease in functional and physiologic reserves, increased blood-brain barrier permeability, and altered drug metabolism, among others. In this article, we describe a case of polypharmacy in a septuagenarian to highlight the deprescribing approach implemented by the inpatient care team and to offer patient-centered insights to clinicians (primary care providers and hospitalists) when making deprescribing decisions. The overarching aim of this article is to build on existing literature regarding polypharmacy, prescribing cascades, and deprescribing in the context of what matters most and aligns with patient health priorities. This article highlights the importance of good geriatric medication reconciliation stewardship to avoid harm.

Keywords: deprescribing; inappropriate prescribing; older adults; pill burden; polypharmacy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports