Deprescribing in the elderly - Chris Cameron

Date Published: 
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dr Chris Cameron talks about deprescribing in the elderly. Chris is a clinical pharmacologist and general physician at Wellington Hospital. Her interests are in improving safe prescribing practices in RMOs and the rationalisation of prescribing in the frail elderly.



  • Polypharmacy in New Zealand
  • Contributing factors
  • Risks to patient and prescriber when polypharmacy becomes problematic
  • Key points to ensure medicine optimisation
  • The practice of deprescribing
  • Commonly deprescribed drugs
  • Potential barriers to deprescribing
  • Recognising and confirming frailty, in context of medications a patient is taking
  • Primary healthcare collaboration towards deprescribing


Take home messages

  • Assessing function and falls risk is an important precursor to deprescribing discussion with patient, especially those over 80.
  • When looking at polypharmacy also consider the prescribing of potentially inappropriate medications, especially for the frail elderly.
  • Optimising medications means setting realistic goals for/with the patient - length vs quality of life, especially if frail.
  • Begin deprescribing by looking at meds that actually cause harm or could potentially cause harm, arent improving quality or length of life, and begin to titrate down.
  • Drug commonly deprescribed include: statins, beta blockers, anticoagulants, bisphosphonates, oral hypoglycaemics, proton pump inhibitors (dose decrease), anti hypertensives, psychotropics.

Clinician Resources

Patient Resources



Dr Chris Cameron
Clinical Pharmacologist

To contact Chris Click here.




This podcast episode is supported by Pharmac

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This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.