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.

Resources

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.

These resources were revised and updated in 2019. For more information about the changes, click here.

Click here to access the full suite of deprescribing resources.

Deprescribing videos

Primary Health Tasmania has also produced a series of short videos featuring discussion between geriatrician Dr David Dunbabin, GP Dr Amanda Lo and consultant pharmacist Dr Peter Tenni about the deprescribing cycle.

Podcast interview

The GP Show podcast recently featured an episode with host Dr Sam Manger interviewing Dr Peter Tenni, consultant pharmacist, about the process of deprescribing.

You can listen to it here.

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.