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How de-prescribing medication can benefit patients in a nursing home

People 65 years old and older take prescribed medications more frequently than any other age group in the United States. Medications can play a critical role in quality of life for older adults, but often times, prescribed medications can cause unintentional harm. Sarah Berry, M.D., M.P.H. is Associate Director, Musculoskeletal Research Center at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. She is studying risk and benefit factors for certain drug therapies among nursing home populations.

The results of Dr. Berry’s research, showed that, when certain medications were de-prescribed, patients got better, had improvements in cognition, improvements in balance, and their ability to walk, and not fall.


Jeff Cramer's picture

About the Blogger

Content Specialist

Jeff Cramer is the Content Specialist at Hebrew SeniorLife, where he contributes content for digital platforms like social media, the HSL blog, the HSL website, and e-newsletters. Jeff spent five years as a local TV news anchor and reporter telling stories that impacted local communities in Texas and western Massachusetts. He earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in marketing and sociology from Hofstra University.


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This is really a question for Dr. Berry. How does removing a patient's blood pressure medication from the patient's regular regime and than not monitoring this patient for any changes in blood pressure without any medication protection follow along with your other guidelines of safety from falling. If the total removal of blood pressure medication from a patient's daily medication regime, doesn't this do the patient more harm than good. If the daily taking of a patient's blood pressure, when BP medication is eliminated, you have no idea if this patient's BP has risen to dangerous levels. I know of one patient in particular who had the BP medication removed and was no longer being monitored for BP. Thus you had no idea how high the BP had risen. I would appreciate having your feedback on this subject. Thank you very much.
Thank you so much for your comment. We asked Dr. Berry to respond, here’s what she said: I agree that when deprescribing blood pressure (or other) medications, it is always important to monitor for adverse side effects. Patients taking blood pressure medications should work with their provider to identify an appropriate target blood pressure consistent with the patient’s goals of care.

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