Deprescribing may just be the answer

“We spend an awful lot of money and effort trying to figure out when to start medications and shockingly little on when to stop.”

Polypharmacy. How many people take too many drugs? Too many. And the drug interactions have potential disastrous effects.

I am a great believer in deprescribing – coming off medication in a controlled fashion with an engaged doctor. It’s worth considering.

So many patients I see have no idea why they are on some medication. Good nutrition can result in less medication, particularly in the areas of diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

“A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine, however, found that more than 42 percent of adults didn’t tell their primary care doctors about their most commonly used complementary and alternative medicines, including a quarter of those who relied most on herbs and supplements.

Usually, that was because the physicians didn’t ask and the patients didn’t think they needed to know; in a few cases, doctors had previously discouraged alternative therapies, or patients thought they would.”

“The researchers, analyzing the drugs and supplements taken, calculated that more than 8 percent of older adults in 2005 and 2006 were at risk for a major drug interaction. Five years later, the proportion exceeded 15 percent.”