De-prescribing is synergistic with inappropriate polypharmacy to reduce potentially problematic prescribing, adverse effects and inappropriate or ineffective medicine use by regularly re-evaluating the ongoing reasons for, and effectiveness of medication therapy. This should be done in partnership with the patient (and sometimes their carer) and supervised by a healthcare professional.


There are a variety of national programmes of work on polypharmacy and de-prescribing; from prescQIPP, EDeN and the RMOCs. The local De-prescribing working group will aim to link to these networks and feed in and take from their wider agendas.  A need to work collaboratively with all sectors across the ICS has been identified to ensure equity for patients. A joined up approach to changing the attitudes of patients and clinicians is essential to achieve meaningful outcomes in reducing inappropriate polypharmacy.


NHS Scotland have produced some helpful resources to aid clinicians when conducting medication reviews and considering de-prescribing


The Royal College of General Practitioners has produced a Top Ten Tips document to aid clinicians to discuss de-prescribing of dependence forming medications such as opioids, z drugs, benzodiazepines, gabapentin and pregabalin.


The Live Well With Pain website contains a wide range of resources for patients and clinicians, from patient leaflets to educational videos for prescribers. Below are links to a selection:

Supporting self management

Shifting the conversation



Starting an Opioid

For Patients

Reviewing Opioids

Medicines and your patient

Resources for patients


Nottinghamshire Joint Formulary