Benefits of deprescribing for older people with frailty and polypharmacy: part one
Intended for healthcare professionals

Benefits of deprescribing for older people with frailty and polypharmacy: part one

Sue Lyne Frailty practitioner, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, East Sussex, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise how comorbidities in older people, including frailty, increase the risk of polypharmacy

  • To increase your awareness of the burden of polypharmacy for patients and healthcare services

  • To contribute towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

The UK population is ageing rapidly, a trend that is likely to continue due to improvements in chronic disease management and increased life expectancy. Comorbidities, including frailty, become increasingly common with age and as a result it is likely that multiple medicines will be prescribed for older people, leading to polypharmacy. This is a concern because polypharmacy is associated with various adverse effects and an increased medicine burden in this population, as well as a financial burden for the healthcare system. This article, the first of two parts, explains the physiology of ageing and frailty, and considers the adverse effects of polypharmacy on older people with frailty, using a fictional case study to illustrate this. Part two will use the case study to explore the use of medication reviews and deprescribing benefits as part of medicines optimisation.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2023.e1441

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Lyne S (2023) Benefits of deprescribing for older people with frailty and polypharmacy: part one. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2023.e1441

Published online: 06 September 2023

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