Why is Deprescribing Necessary? Part 1
When doctors prescribe medication, they often do not give clear instructions for when to stop. Unfortunately, what often happens is a patient will start a medication but will never be taken off of it. Typically, patients are given medication that is necessary at the time after visiting the hospital or urgent care, but most patients are not instructed to return for follow up with these same doctors.
Many doctors are not excited about the idea of reducing medication that another doctor prescribed. This is because they don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, or risk reducing someone’s medication when it is not safe. Furthermore, when a patient takes a medication for so long, they may not remember to tell their new doctor, because it has become so routine and commonplace. This creates a situation where a patient can be on a medication for months to years longer than is safe or appropriate. That is why deprescribing is necessary to protect patients and doctors from the risks of overmedication and polypharmacy.