What is deprescribing? Elizabeth Tracey reports


If you’re taking a number of medicines your physician may bring up the idea of 

‘deprescribing’ to you. That’s the idea that many of these medicines may no longer be needed, may not be providing enough benefit versus their potential for harm, or may be substituted with a simpler regimen. Caleb Alexander, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, describes deprescribing.

Alexander: This is a concept that has been long in the making and that is long overdue. We spend billions of dollars trying to figure out when to start medicines and next to nothing trying to figure out when to stop them. It’s just all too easy to stack one medicine on top of another on top of another. There’s a very real phenomenon that happens when many patients come in, especially the elderly, with these long medications lists which is that we need to clean things up.  :28

Alexander says any deprescribing effort must also include any vitamins, supplements and over the counter medicines you may be taking as well. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.