Successful deprescribing of unnecessary proton pump inhibitors in a primary care clinic

Danielle R. Odenthal, Ann M. Philbrick, Ila M. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the rate of successful deprescribing of unnecessary proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) after implementation of a clinical pharmacist– managed program that included detailed tapering instructions, patient education, and follow-up. Setting: The setting was a family medicine clinic in St. Paul, MN, in an underserved community. Practice description: Eligible patients were taking a long-term PPI for gastroesophageal reflux disease without esophagitis, or without a clear indication. Each morning, the clinical pharmacist generated a report in the electronic medical record that identified patients with appointments who were currently prescribed a PPI. After chart review, the pharmacist determined if patients were candidates for PPI deprescribing. If so, a focused visit with these patients was conducted. Practice innovation: A unique pharmacist-managed PPI tapering schedule was developed and implemented to deprescribe unnecessary PPI therapy in a family medicine clinic. Evaluation: Eligible patients were seen by the pharmacist and initiated on a PPI taper. After 8 weeks, the patients who were initiated on a PPI taper were evaluated to determine if they successfully discontinued the PPI completely, decreased the dose or frequency, or were unsuccessful at tapering the PPI. Results: Of the patients assessed (N = 126), 60% were excluded, 19% were unable to be seen, and 21% were willing to attempt the taper and discontinue their PPI. Of the 22 patients who initiated PPI deprescribing, 19 (86%) successfully discontinued their PPI completely, 2 (9%) decreased the dose or frequency, and 1 (5%) was unable to decrease or discontinue their PPI. This success rate of PPI discontinuation was higher than that in previous studies in primary care settings (31%-66%). Conclusion: Deprescribing long-term PPI therapy can be successful in a family medicine clinic when implementing a clinical pharmacist–managed program that includes detailed tapering instructions, patient education, and follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-104
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The use of REDCap was supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant UL1TR002494. Disclosure: The authors declare no relevant conflicts of interest or financial relationships.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Pharmacists Association®


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