Deprescribing medications

Date Published: 
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Leanne Te Karu talks with us about deprescribing medications. Leanne is a prescribing pharmacist with over 25 years experience across a wide range of settings. She has worked for the quality safety commission and also BPAC. Leanne was a founding member of the Māori pharmacists association and was the inaugural recipient of clinical pharmacist of the year award. Within the general practice environment she aims to optimise safe prescribing while decreasing mortality.



A 76 year old Māori female. She has a past medical history of hypertension, depression, hyperlipidemia, osteoporosis and gout which is currently in remission.

She is taking multiple medications including an ACE inhibitor, a beta-blocker a statin, benzodiazepine and an SSRI. She was also on a bisphosphonate. Periodically she takes a PPI and a Non-steroidal.

Recently she has had falls. She appears to be frail. She presents with her family asking if she can stop some of these medications. 


  • How would we approach this case?
  • How do we assess frailty?
  • Anxiety and consequences of deprescribing
  • What should our plan and approach look like?
  • Stopping the various classes of medication.
  • Is stopping a medication due to age, Ageist?
  • Are specific groups at greater risk of polypharmacy?
  • Our communities and Māori population
  • What strategies can be used to address disparities?

Take home messages

  • Think of optimisation and individualisation, balance and equity.
  • Consider frailty and classify for it in your PMS.
  • Consider an audit in your practice.
  • Work closely with your pharmacist.




Leanne Te Karu

To contact Leanne Click here.

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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.