Deprescribing of glucose-lowering medications in the elderly

Download in PDF

Diabetes mellitus is a serious chronic disease that impairs health-related quality of life in the elderly patients. Treatment with antidiabetic medications can induce hypoglycemia that is associated with a worsening of prognosis. Hypoglycemic episodes increase the risk of death and other adverse events, such as falls, impairment of functional activity and cognitive function, etc. Deprescribing is the planned process of reducing or stopping medications that may no longer be of benefit or may be causing harm. Deprescribing is particularly useful in the elderly patients who frequently present with multiple chronic conditions and receive various medications. In this review, we highlight a harm of hypoglycemia and potential indications for deprescribing of antidiabetic agents, evaluate current recommendations and available evidence for deprescribing of glucose-lowering medications.

Key words

Diabetes mellitus, antidiabetic drugs, hypoglycemia, deprescribing, polypharmacy, elderly.