National Pensioners’ Federation Past President and longstanding CaDeN member on why deprescribing speaks to Canadian seniors, and what needs doing next.

By Jennie Herbin, Community Engagement Coordinator, Canadian Deprescribing Network (CaDeN)

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Herb John was waiting to board a plane to Ottawa for a Canadian Transportation Agency meeting when I caught him on the phone this weekend. He’d only just returned from Regina, where he’d attended the 2018 National Pensioners’ Federation (NPF) Convention, and was now off again. This type of schedule is not unusual for the busy volunteers I am lucky to work with.

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Coming this fall: Canadian Patient Safety Week!

We are proud to have partnered with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute to celebrate Canadian Patient Safety Week, taking place from October 29th to November 2nd, 2018. This year’s theme is Not All Meds Get Along –  prompting patients and healthcare professionals to undertake medication reviews for at-risk populations.

Download these free tools for safe medication management and share them with your community:

Get involved and find out more here:


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Deprescribing News: August edition

Why are you taking a PPI?

Many seniors are regular users of medications called proton-pump inhibitors (also known as PPIs, or acid reflux medications). Did you know that most patients with heartburn or regurgitation only need to take PPIs for 4-8 weeks? Many people take them for months or years without any valid reason, unaware that this increases their risk of experiencing adverse events or drug interactions. Up to 80% of PPI users worldwide have no valid reason for continued use.

Learn more by reading this story about Mr. Turner, a 67-year-old man who was prescribed omeprazole for acid reflux. See how a conversation with his pharmacist made him realize that he might not need to take this medication forever. Read more here.

Suffering from seasonal allergies? Be careful when choosing your antihistamine!

Many people suffer from allergies due to airborne pollen around this time of year. Runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes are just some of the symptoms. Antihistamines can be taken to control these symptoms, but there are adverse effects to consider, especially with use of some of the older antihistamines by seniors. Some antihistamines (called second or third generation antihistamines) are safer and produce fewer side-effects than first generation varieties. Read this brochure to learn more!

Traditional indigenous storytelling: Coyote’s food medicines, a tale about polypharmacy

The ‘Coyote’s Food Medicines’ story was created to encourage conversations about wellness and how to manage medications for a healthy life. This powerful story was written by Elders of Northern Secwepemc and is the result of a collaboration between the Shared Care Committee (a partnership of Doctors of BC and the British Columbia government) and the First Nations Health Authority.

Check out this beautifully illustrated story here and share it with your community.

CaDeN Community of Champions webinar: essential tips and useful tools for safely managing medications
Join our CaDeN Champions summer session on medication and sleep

The next CaDeN Champions live webinar and discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, August 15th from 1-2 pm ET. The discussion will focus on Nova Scotia-based initiatives targeting medication safety and sleep. Click here to register!

Watch previous session here with Janet Currie, a social worker with over 17 years’ involvement with patient and medication safety issues.

Check out Camille Gagnon’s webinar on brain health here!
Learn about the effect of medications on brain healthOn August 8th, CaDeN’s Assistant Director, Camille Gagnon, discussed medications and the brain during a webinar hosted by brainXchange in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Canada and the Canadian Consortium of Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA). Seniors, caregivers and health care providers learned about how to reduce the impact of medications and polypharmacy on the brain as well as tools available to better manage medications and start a deprescribing conversation. Missed the webinar? You can view it here.

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Spring into action: can policies effectively reduce sedative use among seniors?

To find out what other countries are doing to address inappropriate use of sedatives, the Canadian Deprescribing Network (CaDeN) conducted an international policy scan to pinpoint successful policies we may be able to adopt here in Canada.
We’ve developed some new infographics to better visualize preliminary results. Click hereto learn more about policy types, efficacy and unintended consequences.

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We are the CaDeN champions, my friends…

Thank you to all who attended the second CaDeN Community Champions (formerlyCommunity of Practice) meeting on Wednesday, May 23rd! Patient Advocate and Chair of CaDeN’s Public Awareness Committee Janet Currie gave a very informative presentation on key tips for managing medications safely. Missed the meeting? You can catch her presentation here.

We also shared this very useful medication record, where you can track your meds and keep abreast of any side effects or interactions.

Our community is growing fast! We want to hear about what your organization is doing to spread the word about medication safety to their members. Stay tuned for our next Community Champions session, which will be scheduled sometime this summer or contact us for more details.

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CaDeN’s Summit on Medication Safety a Big Success

The Canadian Deprescribing Network (CaDeN) is very grateful to all those who participated in the 2018 National Stakeholder Summit on Medication Safety for Older Men and Womenwhich took place on February 9th, 2018, in Montreal. The Summit brought together over 100 health care providers, patient advocates, policymakers and community organizations from every province in Canada. The goal was to gather key provincial players and enhance local capacity to ensure safe use of medication in older adults.


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Canadian Deprescribing Network Annual Report and New Video Update

The Canadian Deprescribing Network prescribes you peace, joy and happiness for the holiday season, while deprescribing scrooge and travel delays!

 Just in time for the holiday season, we’ve released our new annual report and our new video about what we’ve been up to this year.

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Fall prevention month: what you need to know about medication side effects and falls

Fall prevention month: what you need to know about medication side effects and falls

Many commonly used medications are known to increase fall risk. Read our new article Hips don’t lie: what you should know about medications and falls to learn how to help prevent falls by asking the right questions to your doctor or pharmacist.
For more on fall prevention month, see this website and toolkit.
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