Revisiting systematic reviews on deprescribing trials to better inform future practice and research

Anne Spinewine, Emily Reeve, Wade Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Deprescribing aims to address the problem of medication overuse in older adults. There has been an increasing number of systematic reviews of ‘deprescribing’. We aimed to describe the categories of trials included in recent systematic reviews, and to make recommendations for future research. We categorized 122 trials included in eight recent deprescribing systematic reviews into: discontinuation, deprescribing implementation, medication optimisation (including medication initiation) and non-initiation trials. We identified heterogeneity and inconsistency in the categories of trials included in deprescribing systematic reviews. For example, 39 trials (32.0%) involved medication initiation in addition to the deprescribing component. It is now time for international researchers to develop and validate terminology used for trials involving discontinuation/deprescribing of medications, and to provide recommendations for evidence synthesis that will better inform future research, and translation into practice and policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3758-3764
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • deprescribing
  • deprescriptions (MeSH)
  • medication overuse
  • systematic review

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