Effectiveness and feasibility of deprescribing of symptomatic medications in a Singapore rehabilitation hospital

Published on 2018-07-10T12:00:00Z (GMT) by
<div>Introduction:<p>This study aims to determine the effectiveness, cost savings and feasibility of implementing a systematic process of deprescribing medications for symptomatic management, namely, acid suppressants, laxatives, analgesics and antiemetics for patients of a Singapore rehabilitation hospital.</p>Methods:<p>A total of 200 patients were randomized to a deprescribing intervention (<i>n</i> = 100) or control (usual care) group (<i>n</i> = 100). The patient-centred deprescribing process was utilized. Symptomatic medications were deprescribed following initial pharmacist assessment, discussion with doctors and consideration of patients’ preferences regarding discontinuation or dose reduction. Symptom recurrence, adverse drug withdrawal events (ADWEs) and the need for drug re-initiation or initiation of new symptomatic medications after deprescribing were monitored in the first, second and sixth weeks.</p>Results:<p>The mean age of patients was 72.8 years and 68.6 years in the intervention and control groups. There were no significant reductions in the monthly cost and total number of medications between both intervention and control groups. Systematic deprescribing of acid suppressants was the highest among the four target drug classes. Recurrence of pain and re-initiation of analgesics occurred in two out of seven cases of discontinuation. However, no ADWEs or constipation were noted in the intervention group. On average, a total of 19 minutes was required by pharmacists and doctors to complete the deprescribing process.</p>Conclusion:<p>The systematic deprescribing of symptomatic medications did not reduce costs nor the total number of medications. The risk of symptom recurrence and adverse events was negligible. Knowledge, attitudes and collaboration among healthcare professionals regarding deprescribing are critical.</p>Trial registration:<p>Clinicaltrials.gov, number NCT03354845.</p></div>

Cite this collection

Ee, Charissa Ann Jia Ming; Lee, Kheng Hock; Tan, Hee Lim; Low, Lian Leng (2018): Effectiveness and feasibility of deprescribing of symptomatic medications in a Singapore rehabilitation hospital. SAGE Journals. Collection.