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Show 1066: How to Fight Overmedication with Deprescribing

Sometimes taking extra medications to treat side effects of other drugs doesn't make sense. Deprescribing could be a better solution.
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How to Fight Overmedication with Deprescribing

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Have you ever started taking a medication and discovered that it produced an unpleasant side effect? That’s not uncommon. Sometimes the doctor responds by prescribing an additional drug to manage a side effect from the first one. Occasionally a person will get caught in a cascade that results in several drugs to treat side effects caused by other medications. Changing the original prescription or deprescribing some of the medications might be the best solution.

When Does Deprescribing Make Sense?

As we grow older, we often accumulate health conditions along with our birthdays. The consequence can be a handful of pills to treat those conditions. Are there times when it makes sense to cut back on some of the treatments?

Older people are especially likely to be taking a large number of medicines. As life expectancy grows shorter, preventive medications may make less sense. When is it reasonable to de-prescribe?

Join the Conversation:

If you have questions about de-prescribing, you can ask our experts: Call 888-472-3366 between 7 and 8 am EDT on January 28, 2017, or email radio@peoplespharmacy.com

Patients and prescribers can find out about deprescribing practices at Deprescribing.org

This Week’s Guests:

Mitchell T. Heflin, MD, MHS, is Associate Professor of Medicine and Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development and Duke University School of Medicine.

Laura C. Hanson, MD, MPH, is Professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine in the Center for Aging and Health and the UNC Palliative Care Program at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. The photo is of Dr. Hanson.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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