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Drug discontinuation reviews should be standard practice for older patients


Drug discontinuation reviews should be made standard practice for older cancer patients, according to researchers from Australia writing in The Lancet Oncology online.

They warn an increasing number of older cancer patients use multiple medication –polypharmacy – increasing the risk of adverse reactions and interactions.

They recommend patients undergo a review of all their medications when first diagnosed with cancer before they are prescribed anticancer drugs, which should include “rational discontinuation” of some if possible.


Readers' comments (3)

  • I don't think it should be just be limited to cancer patients. In this environment of PBR there must be many 'victims' of polypharmacy. Many moons ago this was addressed and showed improvements in many patient's conditions. Nowadays, it seems, just add one or more medication(s) to counteract the side-effects. Drug companies must be rubbing their hands together.

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  • I totally agree with the above comment. it should extend to all elderly patients and indeed anybody on long term medication.

    It could cause a shock to the Big Pharma!

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  • "Five dementia sufferers die every day from 'chemical cosh' drugs
    Five dementia sufferers die each day after being wrongly prescribed “chemical cosh” drugs, the Department of Health has warned.
    By Martni Beckford, Health Correspondent7:00AM BST 22 Jul

    Many more hospital patients and care home residents suffer strokes triggered by the antipsychotic medications they are given to keep them sedated.
    New GP-led bodies that will purchase services under the reformed NHS are being told to review the prescriptions of all 180,000 dementia sufferers currently prescribed the drugs, and to do all they can to give them alternative treatment."

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