New Brunswick Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics Collaborative


The challenge

Antipsychotic drugs are sometimes prescribed to treat disruptive behaviors in people with dementia.

But did you know that antipsychotic medications:

  • Do not help manage most symptoms and behaviours of dementia
  • Slow brain performance and reflexes, even at small doses
  • Can produce negative side effects – confusion, dizziness, sleepiness, increased risk of falls

Why should we care?

One in four residents in long term care in Canada takes antipsychotic drugs without having been diagnosed with any psychosis.

This means that seniors are being prescribed antipsychotics when they don’t need them, and that these drugs are potentially causing harm.

CFHI is working with health organizations across Canada to spread a promising solution to this serious issue.

Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics: New Brunswick’s success story

CFHI’s New Brunswick Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (NB-AUA) collaborative is a fully bilingual program that brings together inter-professional teams from nursing homes across the province to improve appropriate prescribing, enhance the resident and family experience, and build capacity to lead healthcare improvement.

“Dementia is a debilitating condition that affects the quality of life of many Canadians and their families. This program will help improve the appropriate use of medication to treat seniors and their health.”

The Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health (2015-2017)

The AUA Approach

The AUA intervention is person-centred and relies on teamwork, data and communication between staff, families, pharmacists, and physicians. Learn more »