Patients with advanced disease at the end-of-life are often continued on medications that do not provide comfort but rather prevent long-term issues. Continuing unnecessary medications increases the risk of adverse drug events (ADEs). Researchers at Newcastle University in the UK studied 125 UK patients and 191 U.S. patients who died of lung cancer and found that many continued taking an average of 2 preventative medications including vitamin and mineral supplements, diabetes medications, anti-hypertensives, lipid-lowering and anti-platelet drugs. Dr. Adam Todd, a lead researcher, is a proponent of deprescribing and assigning every new medication prescribed with an ‘expiry date’ to avoid unnecessary ADEs and pill burden.
Link to: Reuters (9/2018) (Open access via Medscape with site registration)