Role of nurses in supporting proactive deprescribing

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Deprescribing is the term used to describe the discontinuation of medicines. It can be either 'reactive', for example in response to an adverse event or therapeutic failure, or 'proactive', when the prescriber and patient decide to discontinue the medicine because its future benefits no longer outweigh its potential for harm. At present, there is a limited amount of proactive deprescribing activity in primary and secondary care. This article provides the rationale for increasing proactive deprescribing activity, lists the medicines this relates to, identifies the barriers and enablers to its implementation, and describes the potential role of the nurse in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
JournalNursing Standard
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2019


  • British National Formulary
  • medicines
  • medicines management
  • medicines review
  • nurse prescribing
  • polypharmacy
  • prescribing
  • prescription medicines

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