Reducing Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotics in Long Term Care


This toolkit was created to support interventions to reduce excessive use of antipsychotic medications in long term care facilities. Its content is derived from the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) Toolkit developed by Alberta Health Services. It can be used by physician groups, clinical services or organizations to help achieve reductions in antipsychotic prescribing. By using the interventions mentioned in this toolkit, the Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics (AUA) Working Group at Alberta Health Services have lowered the provincial use of antipsychotics in long-term care by 8% and were able to lower use at the initial 11 early adopter sites by approximately 50%. 


  • Establish an inter-professional team 
  • Agree on appropriateness criteria
  • Educate care staff
  • Inform and involve families 
  • Establish a regular medication review process
  • Taper residents off potentially inappropriate antipsychotic prescriptions
  • Implement non-pharmacologic strategies
  • Measuring your performance
  • Sustaining early successes
  • References
  • Appendix A
Contact Person/Organization: 

Choosing Wisely Canada

Type of Tool:

Publication Date: 

Reducing Antipsychotic Drug Use in Long-term Care Settings

Appropriate Use of Antipsychotics in Long-Term Care