Frequently Asked Questions

The team regularly receives questions through email, social media, and word of mouth. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and the team’s answers.

Can you help me reduce or stop my medications?

The team encourages people who have personal medication-related questions to meet with their usual healthcare provider/team to discuss safely tapering or stopping any medications.

If you reside in Ontario, you may also consider meeting with a pharmacist in your community to complete a free MedsCheck Review and Pharmaceutical Opinion. These programs help to ensure patients are getting the most benefit from their medications and can help to identify potential drug-related problems. Ask your pharmacist if similar programs or services exist in your region.

Patient-related deprescribing resources are available on our website — including a link to MedStopper — that can help you review your medications. Or check out the Canadian Medication Appropriateness and Deprescribing Network website for helpful advice. Also, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada has developed a resource that suggests five questions to ask your health provider about your medications, especially if you are on a number of drugs.

How do I use the algorithms?

The team has developed whiteboard videos to demonstrate how to use the deprescribing guidelines and algorithms. Links to the videos are available in the Resources section of the website. The videos can also be accessed through the Deprescribing YouTube channel.

Is your team planning on publishing more guidelines?

We are actively working on new deprescribing guidelines and seeking funding partners to develop even more guidelines. We are also working with several Canadian and international teams to support their guideline development efforts

Our team has developed a step-by-step instruction manual that outlines what to consider if producing a new, evidence-based deprescribing guideline. This manual supplements our deprescribing guideline methodology article found here.

If you are interested in partnering to develop a new guideline, please contact us at

Can I modify one of the deprescribing guideline algorithms, patient pamphlets or infographics?

Because the algorithms and their related pamphlets and infographics are based on published, evidence-based deprescribing guidelines (1 – 5), we ask that you do not modify them to suit an individual project or practice site. Such modifications could change the interpretation of the content, rendering them inconsistent with the guideline publications. Multiple versions in circulation could also create confusion.

  • If you wish to incorporate a drug availability table specific to your country, please contact us with the table you wish included. For example, we have created versions specific to the UK and Australia that we can supply on request.
  • If you wish to provide additional information or advice specific to your project or practice site, please attach a second page to the algorithm with these specifics. For example, your second page could state:

“Please disregard information about z-drugs for this study as our study is not addressing this group of drugs”


“The following is not available in our hospital: _____________”

Please send a copy of your ‘second-page’ information specific to your study to team so we can review the draft and provide feedback and the appropriate citations. If you have already made changes to any of the algorithms, pamphlets, or infographics, please let us know as soon as possible at so that we can assess if the intent of the guideline recommendations has been altered.

  1. Farrell B, Black C, Thompson W, McCarthy L, Rojas-Fernandez C, Lochnan H, et al. Deprescribing antihyperglycemic agents in older persons. Evidence-based clinical practice guideline. Can Fam Physician 2017;63:832-43 (Eng), e452-65 (Fr)
  2. Bjerre LM, Farrell B, Hogel M, Graham L, Lemay G, McCarthy L, et al. Deprescribing antipsychotics for behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and insomnia: Evidence-based clinical practice guideline. Can Fam Physician 2018;64:17-27 (Eng), e1-e12 (Fr).
  3. Pottie K, Thompson W, Davies S, Grenier J, Sadowski C, Welch V, Holbrook A, Boyd C, Swenson JR, Ma A, Farrell B. Evidence-based clinical practice guideline for deprescribing benzodiazepine receptor agonists. Can Fam Physician 2018;64:339-51 (Eng), e209-24 (Fr)
  4. Reeve E, Farrell B, Thompson W, et al Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline for Deprescribing Cholinesterase Inhibitors and Memantine. 2018.ISBN-13: 978-0-6482658-0-1 Available from:
  5. B, Pottie K, Thompson W, Boghossian T, Pizzola L, Rashid FJ, et al. Deprescribing proton pump inhibitors. Evidence-based clinical practice guideline. Can Fam Physician 2017;63:354-64 (Eng), e253-65 (Fr).
I’m interested in translating a deprescribing algorithm, patient pamphlet or infographic, where do I start?

First, please refer to our translation policy. Email the team at to let us know the language to which you’d like to translate our materials. We can let you know if someone has done similar work and help you get in contact with the creator.

What other organizations are involved in deprescribing?

Consider reaching out to our colleagues at the Canadian Medication Appropriateness and Deprescribing Network for community engagement opportunities focusing on polypharmacy. Choosing Wisely Canada has incorporated the algorithms into their toolkits along with other useful information to help with deprescribing. You can find these toolkits here and here. Links to more resources and organizations involved in the deprescribing movement are available in the helpful links section of our website.

I’ve published a resource on deprescribing, can it be added to the “helpful links” section?

The team reviews resources on a case-by-case basis. Our team does not regularly post additional resources on our site; however, if staffing permits, we try to review individual requests whenever possible using this resource criteria checklist.

  • For text articles, please forward the approximate word count, title, short summary of the content, and the full text of your article in the email body to
  • For websites, please send your company or website name, mission statement, and a brief description of ongoing activities to