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Randomised controlled trial
Deprescribing in nursing homes is safe and should be pursued
  1. Eline Tommelein
  1. Pharmaceutical Care Unit, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eline Tommelein, Pharmaceutical Care Unit, Ghent University, Gent 9000, Belgium; Eline.Tommelein{at}

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Commentary on: Wouters H, Scheper J, Koning H, et al. Discontinuing inappropriate medication use in nursing home residents: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2017;167:609–617.

Implications for practice and research

  • Deprescribing in nursing homes is more effective when a true multidisciplinary panel and patients are involved. This also includes on-site staff and family or carers.

  • Research about how often a medication review cycle should be performed is still lacking.


Polypharmacy and associated inappropriate medication (IM) use is a well-known problem in nursing home patients.1 The evidence that the discontinuation of specific medications (deprescribing) in older patients does not worsen outcomes and decreases adverse drug events and medication costs is growing. Research considering deprescribing of antihypertensives, antipsychotics and antidepressants has been performed.2 3 However, results …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.