J Palliat Med. 2022 Jun 14. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2021.0560. Online ahead of print.
Background: Palliative care (PC) pharmacists can play an important role in optimizing medications for patients with serious illnesses by aligning patients’ goals with their treatment regimens. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to (1) quantify successful pharmacist deprescribing interventions incorporated in the hospital discharge plan and (2) describe deprescribing interventions by medication class, reason for discontinuation, and perception of patient/caregiver understanding and acceptance. Methods: This pilot study included 45 inpatient PC consultations and collected data on deprescribing interventions performed by PC clinical pharmacists in Maryland and Washington, D.C., U.S. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze outcomes. Results: Eighty-two percent of recommendations were successfully implemented during hospitalization and included in the discharge plan. Medication classes recommended for discontinuation included vitamins/supplements (20%), antidiabetics (13%), antiplatelets (10%), anticoagulants (10%), statins (10%), antihypertensives (7%), proton pump inhibitors/H2 blockers (7%), antibiotics (5%), dementia medications (1%), and antidepressants (1%). Top reasons for discontinuation included pill burden, unacceptable treatment burden, and potential harm outweighs potential benefit. Conclusions: Results of this study demonstrate PC pharmacists’ deprescribing recommendations have a high rate of successful implementation by the primary inpatient care team.