Managing medicines

Deprescribing is the systematic process of identifying and discontinuing potentially inappropriate drugs with the aim of minimising polypharmacy and improving patient outcomes.

Broadly speaking, it follows five steps:

  • consider the person
  • consider their medications
  • identify potential drugs to be ceased or modified
  • plan and initiate withdrawal trial
  • monitor and support.


Primary Health Tasmania has supported the development of a range of deprescribing resources, including fact sheets on medications such as antipsychotics, opioids and glaucoma eye drops.

There’s also a quick reference guide that succinctly captures key information about commonly prescribed medications, as well as a general information sheet on deprescribing.

There are guides to the use of three groups of medications in older people, and two resources for consumers.

The deprescribing resources are on our resources page.

Codeine changes

All over-the-counter low dose codeine-containing medicines for treating pain and colds and flu are now only available by prescription.

A Tasmanian HealthPathway outlining assessment and deprescribing information for patients using codeine-containing drugs is also available to health professionals.