1h 15m
Jenny Gowan
13 May 2018

Deprescribing Medicines

The challenge of deprescribing is to apply quality use of medicines principles using a person-centred approach where polypharmacy, co-morbidities and fragility converge with a lack of evidence or guidelines to aid decision-making.


Correlate the challenges of an ageing population with medication use and polypharmacy


Explain to the patient or their carer the rationale for deprescribing medicines as indicated


Critically evaluate medicines that are at higher risk of causing older adults to experience medication-related problems


Plan and initiate a withdrawal trial taking into account medicines that should be ceased slowly


Jenny Gowan

Jenny, a practicing pharmacist, is a teaching associate at Monash University, Melbourne. She is a member of the PSA Branch committee, the Expert Group for Therapeutic Guidelines – Respiratory, an editorial board member of AUS-DI, SHPA "Don’t Rush to Crush", and the Guidelines Committee for the Australian Asthma Handbook (AAH). Jenny is an accredited consultant pharmacist who conducts her own company, which focuses on medication reviews in the home and aged care facilities, plus education, writing, training, and consultation. Jenny works regularly in community pharmacy plus sessions in a GP clinic at a Community Health Centre. She has published over 350 educational articles. Jenny has presented talks at many Australian and international conferences to GPs, nurse practitioners, nurses, podiatrists, pharmacists, and other health professionals. In 2013, she was awarded the Australian Pharmacist of the Year by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and, in 2016, the AACP-MIMs Australian Consultant Pharmacist of the Year.


Beverly Salt12 Aug 2018
The fuvdrde content of the course gave me food for thought. Polypharmacy is a common problem, and can lead to diagnosis of diabetes .By holdingprifessuinal discussions in the workplace ideas can be brought together, and deduced .

Jane Rodgers02 Aug 2018
Good learning tool

Dianne Allen08 Jul 2018
I would recommend this education to other health professionals.

Joanne Sealey13 Jun 2018
I would recommend this education to other health professionals:

Leeanne O'Leary08 Jun 2018
Very informative I would recommend this course to all health professionals.

Georgia Jones02 Jun 2018
very informative

XIAO YANG31 May 2018

Maree Augostin31 May 2018

APEL MAHMUD31 May 2018
An essential discussion specially in long term care settings, e.g. aged care.

Nicole Gregory29 May 2018
This video is not just for NP's, all health professionals can take home a little bit from the information presented.

Mark James28 May 2018
Well presented

learned about the importance of deprescribing.

Olivia Collins 28 May 2018
This educator has helped me fill in gaps within my knowledge. This will help me with the future care I will provide for patients.

Michelle Lipman28 May 2018

Natalie Jane Wilson27 May 2018
Good educational session

Aju Stephen Antony27 May 2018

yi jun chen26 May 2018
very good

yan zhang25 May 2018
excellent presentation.

Excellent topic that is really important to consider when dealing with patients that take multiple medications.

Sara Turner24 May 2018
While not a nurse prescriber, I still found the topic interesting and informative.

Sibongile Nyathi23 May 2018
Very good and relevant information to suggest to GPs and families. Families of the elderly are always complaining about high Pharmacy bills. Reducing unnecessary medication may help in this respect.

Sabbiah jang23 May 2018
Very helpful and good topic.

Limor Weingarten23 May 2018
Great source to share about reducing medication intake

Graham Jones23 May 2018
Very engaging and informative.

Amala Thomas22 May 2018
Good to know


Graeme Davies22 May 2018
Interesting and comprehensive analysis of a topic frequently encountered in modern patient care environments.

Kristie-Lee Perrott21 May 2018
This was an interesting topic and had lots of valuable information

Joanne Holloway21 May 2018
I was interesting but probably more beneficial for Nurse Practitioners.

Very good presenter. Clear and educational session.

Naomi Johnston19 May 2018
Very engaging and a exceptional tool to have. We can never stop learning to assist people in our care.

Louise Macfarlane17 May 2018
I found this resource extremely beneficial

Jacqueline Bullard17 May 2018
Good learning module

Carmel Green17 May 2018
Thankyou for this informative VLA. I am so happy to know that pharmacists are so pro-active in wanting to advocate for patients and support DEPRESCRIBING.

Cassandra Stone17 May 2018
Excellent video and should be viewed by all nurse practitioners as well as other RNs looking after the patient with poly pharmacy

Divina Evangelista17 May 2018
Educator is engaging and knowledgeable. I would recommend this education to other health professionals.

Carl Jiang17 May 2018
Deprescribing is the future direction in healthcare system for the best interests of the patients, families and the carers. However, why polypharmacy exists in the first place. Come on, I hope drug companies wouldnt be upset at the idea.

George Xian16 May 2018
Weighing the benefits of the medicine against its adverse effects and risks of poly-pharmacy in each individual patients to their condition and status.

Kay Todd16 May 2018
Excellent presentation. Clear and concise information.

Susana Ave16 May 2018
Very informative that deginitely reinforce knowledge in gaining a good quality of life expectancy to client.

Romi Thapa15 May 2018
It was a very helpful learning session which helped in gain more knowledge about polypharmacy and its effects.

Iana Villacastin15 May 2018
have gained more knowledge

Pietryna Duch15 May 2018
Very informative; clear and concise explanations.

Allison Jordan15 May 2018
Good review of the processes and challenges

Hellene Heron15 May 2018
Very interesting and something that reinforces my knowledge and introduced some new knowledge that i can now share.

Xi Wu14 May 2018
Great learning experience

Margaretha van de Reyt14 May 2018
Highly recommend this resource as the pharmacist is very clear and succinct.

Course Overview

Topics include:

  • Incidence of medication use
  • Polypharmacy and principles of deprescribing
  • Barriers to deprescribing
  • Classes of medicines for deprescribing
  • Planning withdrawal

Target audience

Nurse practitioners and other health professionals who prescribe medications or are heavily involved in medication management.


Confidently consider whether to continue, reduce or cease medications that are not effective or may no longer be appropriate for a particular person.


It is well known that polypharmacy has the potential to result in adverse events for patients. Therefore, the prescribing process must not only include a review, but also cessation of medicines. Cessation of medications may be a particularly appropriate action in certain clinical situations amongst older adults. Deprescribing has been described as the systematic process of identifying and discontinuing potentially inappropriate medicines with the aim of minimising polypharmacy and improving patient outcomes. A recent network analysis of the various definitions used in multiple articles across many countries proposed this definition: “Deprescribing is the process of withdrawal of an inappropriate medication, supervised by a health care professional with the goal of managing polypharmacy and improving outcomes.” Reviewing a patient’s medication regime, and ceasing unnecessary medicines, can lead to an improved quality of life for patients.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.