Deprescribing medications for seniors a safety priority
Ending or tapering off half of medications in 3 classes is advocates' goal
Health-care workers, patient groups and governments are striving to cut inappropriate prescriptions for seniors by 50 per cent by 2020.
The fledgling Canadian Deprescribing Network focuses on discontinuing or tapering off three classes of medications: sedative hypnotics known as benzodiazepines, proton pump inhibitors and some long-acting oral diabetes drugs.
The 50 per cent target is an ambitious one that reflects the degree of overprescription for these three medication classes, said Dr. James Silvius, a geriatrician at Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary.
- Seniors in long-term care take twice as many drugs as other elderly Canadians
- Decreasing use of antipsychotic meds target of Central Health pilot project
- Antipsychotics overprescribed to Quebec seniors with dementia: report
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