32 learners taking this course
Older patients carry a disproportionate burden of polypharmacy that negatively impacts their health, quality of life, and longevity. The facts are startling: more than a third of the U.S. population over age 65 is taking 5 or more medications daily. People over the age of 65 are more than twice as likely to visit the emergency department due to an adverse drug reaction than younger patients and are seven times more likely to require hospitalization after an emergency visit. These sad statistics have spurred an awareness of the risk of polypharmacy, but providers are still often uncertain how to best tackle reducing medications in older patients.
This course clearly explains how to approach deprescribing in geriatrics, including case examples. We will review essentials like how pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics change with age and best tools to help decide how to change or stop medications (including STOPP and START, Beer’s criteria, pharmacogenetic testing, and clinical guidelines). We will also discuss how to initiate weaning medications, the importance of harm reduction, the role of OTC medications, as well as how to best approach communication with patients, families, and other health care providers. The goal of this course is to enable the clinician to immediately implement safe and clear deprescribing when appropriate with older patients.
- Understand the extent of polypharmacy in geriatric patients and why they are more vulnerable.
- Identify when deprescribing is appropriate and what classes of medications are most critical. Become familiar with tools and resources for quick decision-making.
- Appreciate the strategy of harm reduction and when/how to apply.
- Facilitate communication effectively with patients, families, and other health care providers, including identifying critical roles and teaching self-advocacy.