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Given associations with serious cognitive and physical adverse effects (e.g., dementia, falls), strong anticholinergics, like urinary antimuscarinics (UAMs), should be avoided in older adults. This feasibility study aimed to (1) evaluate the implementation rate of pharmacists' recommendations intended to de-escalate UAMs, (2) quantify the change in overall anticholinergic dosing exposure from these recommendations, and (3) investigate factors that predict recommendation implementation.This was a retrospective, observational, before-and-after study. Pharmacists (n = 18) devised strategies to de-escalate UAMs in 187 participants (mean age 72.4 ± 9.4; 77.0% female; mean number of medications 12.9 ± 4.6) of 35 Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). PACE prescribers (non-physicians and physicians) determined whether to implement recommendations. Implementation was defined as a change in the prescription records consistent with the pharmacist's recommendation at 2-, 4-, 6-, and 9-months post-recommendation. Anticholinergic dosing exposure was measured at each time point using standardized daily doses (SDD). Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors that predicted recommendation implementation.Across 9 months, recommendations were implemented in 118 out of 187 participants, yielding a 63.1% implementation rate. Of these, 77.1% (n = 91/118) implemented by month 2. Implementers' mean overall anticholinergic SDD decreased 65.4% from baseline (baseline: 2.6 [95% CI: 2.2, 3.0] to month 9: 0.9 [95% CI: 0.6,1.2], p < 0.001) whereas non-implementers demonstrated no significant change (p = 0.52). Taking <10 baseline medications (OR 2.75; 95% CI: 1.09, 7.61); baseline UAM SDD ≥2 (OR 2.20; 95% CI: 1.11, 4.44); uncomplicated recommendations (OR 3.38; 95% CI: 1.67-7.03); and baseline calcium channel blocker use (OR 2.19; 95% CI: 1.09, 4.52) predicted implementation.Our high implementation rate indicates that pharmacists' recommendations to de-escalate UAMs as a way to reduce overall anticholinergic exposure is feasible in medically complex, community-dwelling older adults. Future research should investigate whether these recommendations benefit cognitive (e.g., delirium, dementia) and/or physical functioning (e.g., falls).© 2022 Tabula Rasa HealthCare. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The American Geriatrics Society.


Meghan Ha, Anna Furman, Sweilem B Al Rihani, Veronique Michaud, Jacques Turgeon, David L Bankes. Pharmacist-driven interventions to de-escalate urinary antimuscarinics in the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2022 Jul 28

PMID: 35900034

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