By Austin Frakt | THE NEW HEALTH CARE APRIL 10, 2017
The point of prescription drugs is to help us get or feel well. Yet so many Americans take multiple medications that doctors are being encouraged to pause before prescribing and think about “deprescribing” as well. The idea of dropping unnecessary medications started cropping up in the medical literature a decade ago. In recent years, evidence has mounted about the dangers of taking multiple, perhaps unnecessary, medications. Deprescribing will work only if patients also get involved in the process. Only they can report adverse effects that they sense but that are not apparent to clinicians. And they need to be comfortable weaning from or dropping drugs that they are accustomed to and believe to be helpful.