Deprescribing: A narrative review of the evidence and practical recommendations for recognizing opportunities and taking action

Published: 5 January 2017
Author(s): Emily Reeve, Wade Thompson, Barbara Farrell
Issue: January 2017
Section: Review Article

Deprescribing can be defined as the process of withdrawal or dose reduction of medications which are considered inappropriate in an individual. The aim of this narrative review is to provide an overview of “deprescribing”; firstly discussing the potential benefits and harms followed by the barriers to and enablers of deprescribing. We also provide practical recommendations to recognise opportunities and strategies for deprescribing in practice.Studies focused on minimizing polypharmacy indicate that deprescribing may be associated with potential benefits including resolution of adverse drug reactions, improved quality of life and medication adherence and a reduction in drug costs.