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UEA School of Pharmacy researchers find patients want to stop taking medicines

Most medicines have benefits and problems and the balance between these can change over a person’s lifetime. A medicine prescribed many years ago can become less beneficial and possibly more harmful as we get older.

Deprescribing involves healthcare professionals and patients working together to stop medicines that are no longer beneficial. This means that patients should end up taking only the medicines that they really need. Previous UEA School of Pharmacy research has shown that deprescribing rarely happens in hospital, representing a missed opportunity.

The present research demonstrates that eight out of 10 patients and their families are happy to talk about deprescribing with healthcare professionals in hospital. Reasons given for wanting to talk about deprescribing included a feeling that some medicines were not needed anymore, feeling that too many medicines are prescribed and wanting to take smaller doses of some medicines.

Sion Scott, who led the research, stated that ‘Before thinking about changing healthcare practice, it is important to ask patients and their families what they think. In this case, they have endorsed the idea of deprescribing in hospital, and we are now looking at how we can do this safely’.

Read the article here.

 

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