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Aspinall SL, Hanlon JT, Niznik JD, Springer SP, Thorpe CT. Deprescribing in Older Nursing Home Patients: Focus on Innovative Composite Measures for Dosage Deintensification. Innovation in aging. 2017 Sep 1; 1(2):igx031.
Deprescribing, which includes stopping or reducing the dosage of medications, is designed to improve safety and prevent adverse drug reactions in older patients. To date, there has been limited work on measuring decreases in dosage intensity, or deintensification, across therapeutic classes of medications. Given the ongoing focus on central nervous system (CNS) medications and the frequency with which providers encounter hypertension and diabetes in older nursing home patients, the objective of this expert review is to describe and critique innovative composite dosage intensity measures that have been, or could be, applied to quantify deintensification within three therapeutic medication targets commonly encountered in nursing home patients: CNS agents, antihypertensive therapy, and antidiabetic therapy and the extent to which they are associated with health outcomes. Composite measures for CNS medication intensity considered dividing a patient''s daily dose by defined daily dosage (DDD), or the minimum effective adult or geriatric daily dosage. In contrast, composite measures for antihypertensives used either DDD or maximum recommended daily dosage in the denominator. We were not able to identify any composite measure of intensity for antidiabetic classes. There was a paucity of interventional studies that showed reducing the dosage intensity resulted in improved health outcomes. In conclusion, we identified several innovative composite measures of dosage intensity for CNS and antihypertensive medications, and discussed possible approaches for developing an antidiabetic regimen composite measure. It is critical for future research to compare and contrast various measures and to determine their impact on important clinical outcomes.