Are you a victim of “legacy prescribing”? As 2018 concludes, it could be time to check your medicine cabinet! A McMaster University study looked at 50,813 patients older than 18 years of age and found that 46% of patients receiving antidepressants, 45% receiving proton pump inhibitors, and 14% receiving bisphosphonates had a legacy prescription (a prescription that prescribes a drug past its effective or recommended period) between 2010 and 2016. Researchers hypothesize that legacy prescriptions are also common for medications used for pain, anti-anxiety, and ADHD. Annals of Family Medicine
→Takeaway: The study’s lead researcher recommends taking control of indefinite prescription writing by asking the appropriate questions to your healthcare provider when the medication is first prescribed. Be sure you understand what the usual course length is for the specific medication, and when, why, and how you should stop taking the medication. Also be sure there is good communication between your specialists (who often initially write the prescription) and your primary care doctor (who sometimes takes over the ongoing responsibility of prescribing).