The Importance of De-Prescribing Medication
In our current healthcare system of auto-refills, e-prescriptions, and mindless “check box” medication reconciliation, patients may continue taking medications years after they no longer need them, and even years after their original prescriber intended them to stop. There is no doubt that many Americans are over-medicated, and the problem compounds itself as we age. Unfortunately modern medical school prepares physicians to prescribe medications for treatment of illness and disease, but little to no time is spent teaching something just as important: de-prescribing.
When a new patient comes to me at Colorado Center of Health and Nutrition, an in depth and thorough patient history is the first step. This includes information about any supplements and prescription medicine the patient is taking. The amount of prescription medication so many of these patients are on is mind blowing. It is clear mainstream medicine is far more focused on prescribing medicine, than de-prescribing it. The goal of all health care should be for the patient to be on as few medications as possible for as short of time as possible. This mentality has somehow been lost.
Functional medicine has a different approach. This approach being to use detailed diagnostic testing to understand why medication is needed in the first place, and then to use bio-identical medicine and supplements to eventually “de-prescribe” prescription pharmaceuticals. This will bring the patient’s body back into a state of balance, where the body itself is the best medicine.
In Good Health,