Deprescribing Medicines

1h 3m
Cover image for: Deprescribing Medicines
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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 3m of CPD
First Published
Updated07 May 2023
Expires 29 August 2024
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 Ausmed 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 Ausmed 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
  1. Correlate the challenges of an ageing population with medication use and polypharmacy.
  2. Explain to the patient or their carer the rationale for deprescribing medicines as indicated.
  3. Critically evaluate medicines that are at higher risk of causing older adults to experience medication-related problems.
  4. Plan and initiate a withdrawal trial taking into account medicines that should be ceased slowly.
Target Audience

This Ausmed Course is most relevant to pharmacists, nurse practitioners and other healthcare 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.


educator profile image
Jenny Gowan View profile
Dr Jenny Gowan is a practising pharmacist, adjunct senior lecturer at Monash University and clinical associate at RMIT University. She has published over 500 educational articles, has copious experience in presentations and lectures and runs a consulting pharmacy company. Jenny was awarded the 2013 PSA Australian Pharmacist of the Year award and the 2016 AACP-MIMs Consultant Pharmacist of the Year Award. In 2024, she received recognition as a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to medicine as a pharmacist, to professional societies and to community health.
CPD time1h 3m
First Published
Updated07 May 2023
29 August 2024
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia
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