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How Deprescribing Affects Pharmacists


Pharmacists must engage in ethical and legal behavior at all times when working with and dispensing medications or else they can face licensing issues. This means they should know about deprescribing, particularly when it comes to seniors.

Deprescribing refers to making changes to medications in a safe manner in response to life’s changes. A medication that was once effective and working fine may be not a good choice for a person years down the line. This is especially true for older people, who tend to experience changes to their bodies as they age.

It is common for older adults to experience increased sensitivity to medications. This can lead to a higher risk of drug-drug interactions, as well as adverse events and cognitive impairment. This means that doctors and pharmacists should be prepared for changes in drug therapy as a patient gets older. This is when deprescribing becomes important.

It is estimated that 29% of Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 65 are taking medications listed on the 2015 American Geriatrics Society Beers list. This list shows medications that are potentially inappropriate for the elderly. These high risk medications are associated with hospitalization, meaning that extra measures should be taken to deprescribe these medications in the elderly. Interventions by pharmacists can help with deprescribing these drugs in senior citizens.

Use of inappropriate drugs can be an issue in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Doctors and pharmacists alike should do their part to avoid patient harm. This includes evaluating every medication to reduce polypharmacy, which refers to the use of multiple drugs to treat a chronic condition. This is especially true when the elderly are using Beers Criteria medications. The benefits need to outweigh the risks in these situations.

Pharmacists can be key players in this regard. They can do their part to deprescribe unsafe and unnecessary medications. However, patients should do their part and work with healthcare teams to ensure they understand what their medications are supposed to do and the side effects involved. If patients are noticing differences when they take their medications, they may be a good candidate for deprescribing.

However, deprescribing should be done safely. Sometimes it is not a good idea to suddenly stop a medication, as this can lead to withdrawal. Tapering is usually the best tool, as it slowly reduces the dosage until the medication is no longer used.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Pharmacist License & Pharmacy Permit Lawyer

Pharmacists can play a role in deprescribing as long as it is done according to specifications. Tampering with the medications or allowing them to be used in a way that can cause harm to a patient can be issues of concern that can affect a pharmacist’s license.

If you are a licensed professional facing disciplinary action, Tampa pharmacist license & pharmacy permit lawyer David P. Rankin can help you with your case. I am highly experienced with the skill to address licensing issues effectively. To schedule a consultation, call (813) 968-6633 or fill out the online form.