Deprescribing Medicines

1h 15m

To get access to this resource and 700+ other resources, subscribe

Already have a subscription? Log In

Cover image for: Deprescribing Medicines
Badge from the American Nurses Credentialing Center showing that Ausmed is an accredited provider with distinction

The Ausmed Education Learning Centre is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Provider Number PO342.

CPD1h 15m of CPD
First Published
Updated12 February 2020
Expires 12 February 2021
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia

Course Overview

Polypharmacy has the potential to result in adverse events for patients. Therefore, the prescribing process must not only include a review, but also the cessation of medicines.

This Course looks at polypharmacy and deprescribing.

  • How common is polypharmacy?
  • Polypharmacy and the principles of deprescribing;
  • Barriers to deprescribing;
  • Classes of medicines for deprescribing;
  • Planning and managing the withdrawal of medicines.

Cessation of medications may be a particularly appropriate action in certain clinical situations amongst older adults.

There is a need for education on how to safely and appropriately review a patient’s medication regime and cease unnecessary prescriptions, as this can lead to an improved quality of life for patients.


The purpose of this Course is to enable learners to confidently consider whether to continue, reduce or cease medications that are not effective or may no longer be appropriate for a particular person.

Learning Outcomes
  • 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.
Target Audience

This Course is most relevant to pharmacists, nurse practitioners and other health professionals who prescribe medications or are heavily involved in medication management.


No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.


Portrait of Jenny Gowan
Jenny Gowan

Jenny Gowan, a practising pharmacist, is a teaching associate at Monash University, Melbourne and a clinical associate of RMIT University. She is a member of the PSA Branch committee, the Expert Group for Therapeutic Guidelines – Respiratory version 5, an editorial board member of AUS-DI, SHPA "Don’t Rush to Crush", the Guidelines Committee for the Australian Asthma Handbook (AAH) and the writing group for the RACGP ‘Medical Care of older persons in RACF’ (Silver book). 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 400 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. See Educator Profile

CPD1h 15m of CPD
First Published
Updated12 February 2020
12 February 2021
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia
Medication Safety
Aged Care
Clinical Assessment
Nurse Practitioners
Learning Tools
Related Learning Hubs
Content Integrity