According to a recent study, Americans over 50 are considering reducing their prescription drug usage, which fits with the trend toward “deprescribing.”
According to Michigan Medicine’s National Poll on Healthy Aging, 67% of respondents stated they would consult their doctor before stopping a medication.
However, more than one-third of senior citizens claimed they had stopped taking a drug without first consulting a physician, pharmacist, or nurse practitioner.
“Deprescribing, which can include prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements, should be based on dialogue between patients and providers, and sometimes family members,” said Sarah Vordenberg, a clinical associate professor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy who participated in the survey.
About 11% regularly take three or more over-the-counter medicines. About 38% take three or more vitamins, minerals or supplements, according to the poll.
It was administered online and by phone in January to more than 2,500 adults aged 50 to 80, then weighted to reflect the U.S. population.
“While we found that over 90% of older adults who take at least one prescription medicine expect their provider to review their list of medicines at least annually, research has shown this is often not the case,” Vordenberg said in a university news release. “This drives home the importance of comprehensive medication reviews, which can often be billed to insurance by clinics and pharmacies as a separate patient encounter.”