J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2023 Dec 18:1-8. doi: 10.1080/15360288.2023.2288093. Online ahead of print.
Treating palliative cancer patients with antithrombotics is challenging because of the higher risk for both venous thromboembolism and major bleeding. There is a lack of available guidelines on deprescribing potentially inappropriate antithrombotics. We have therefore created an antithrombotics scheme to aid in (de)prescribing antithrombotics. A retrospective single-center clinical cohort observational study was performed to evaluate it. Patients with solid tumors with a life expectancy of less than 3 months seen by the palliative team were included. Comparisons were made between patients who were treated according to the antithrombotics scheme and those who were not. 47.6% of patients used antithrombotics. One hundred and eleven patients were included for analysis. Most patients used antithrombotics according to the scheme (n = 80, 72.1%). Eleven patients experienced a clinical event, seven patients in the scheme adherence group (9.9%) and four in the no scheme adherence group (13.8%), which was not statistically significant (p = 0.726). The higher frequency of clinical events in the group without scheme adherence suggests that (de)prescribing antithrombotics according to the antithrombotics scheme is safe. The results of this study suggest that the antithrombotics scheme could aid healthcare professionals identifying possible inappropriate antithrombotics in palliative cancer patients. Further prospective research is needed to investigate this tool.