The world population is aging, and the rheumatology workforce must be prepared to care for medically complex older adults. We can learn from our colleagues and experts in geriatrics about how to best manage multimorbidity, polypharmacy, geriatric syndromes, and shifting priorities of older adults in the context of delivering care for rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). Polypharmacy, a common occurrence in an aging population with multimorbidity, affects half of older adults with RMDs and is associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality. In addition, potentially inappropriate medications that should be avoided under most circumstances is common in the RMD population. In recent years, deprescribing, known as the process of tapering, stopping, discontinuing, or withdrawing drugs, has been introduced as an approach to improve appropriate medication use among older adults and the outcomes that are important to them. As the rheumatology patient population ages globally, it is imperative to understand the burden of polypharmacy and the potential of deprescribing to improve medication use in older adults with RMDs. We encourage the rheumatology community to implement geriatric principles, when possible, as we move toward becoming an age-friendly health care specialty.
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