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Improving the care of people with learning disabilities in pharmacy


In the population with intellectual/learning disabilities compared to the general population, the multi-morbidity burden is greater, occurs at much earlier age, and the profile of health conditions differs [1]. People with intellectual disabilities use multiple medications and may have been taking them for many years. Extreme care in required when de- prescribing many medications in this population group. The principles of good de-prescribing during medication review in the population with intellectual/learning disabilities, based on the British Pharmacological Society’s Principles for Good Prescribing 2010, provide a template for quality de-prescribing in this population group. Principles of Good De-prescribing during Medication Review in the Population with Intellectual Disabilities and Behaviour Disorders. Based on the British Pharmacological Society’s Principles for Good Prescribing 2010 1. Be clear about the reasons for de-prescribing. 2. Take into account the patient with intellectual disabilities and behaviour disorders medication history before de-prescribing. 3. Take into account other factors that might alter the benefits and risks of de-prescribing treatment in the patient with intellectual disability and behaviour disorders. 4. Take into account the patient’s/carer’s/families/advocates ideas, concerns, and expectations. 5. Ensure all medicines are effective, safe, cost-effective in appropriate form individualised for the patient with intellectual disability, behaviour disorders and other conditions such as dysphagia, autism. 6. Adhere to national guidelines and local formularies where appropriate. Use caution where the population with intellectual disability have not been considered in the guideline development process. 7. Write unambiguous correct documentation detailing reason for de-prescribing. 8. Monitor the beneficial and adverse effects of de-prescribing medicines and any effects on behaviour. 9. Communicate and document all de-prescribing decisions and the reasons for them such as transferred to appropriate personnel such as GP, pharmacist, psychiatrist, epileptologist, carer and patient. 10. De - prescribe within the limitations of your knowledge, skills and experience of the population with intellectual disabilities and behaviour disorders. Prepared by: Bernadette Flood PhD MPSI 1. Cooper S-A, McLean G, Guthrie B, et al. Multiple physical and mental health comorbidity in adults with intellectual disabilities: population-based cross-sectional analysis. BMC Family Practice. 2015;16:110. doi:10.1186/s12875-015-0329-3.

Posted date

22 SEP 2016

Posted time



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