Prescription Review Program

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Benzodiazepines  •  Drug Screening   •  Drugs and Seniors   •  ADHD  • 
RxFiles  •  Treatment Agreements  •  Educational Programs •  Overdose Prevention and Response



Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw (aka The Ashton Manual) by Dr. Heather Ashton. 

Patient handout:  "Should I stop my benzodiazepine or 'benzo'"?

Drug Screening

The Prescription Review Program recommends all physicians have urine drug screens analyzed by the provincial lab.  The results from the provincial lab are not only qualitative, but are quantitatively measured and this is available when requested and the results determine the different individual opioids and individual benzodiazepines present.

Urine screens should be looked upon as no different than any other test that a physician would perform on a patient, such as a blood glucose test for diabetes.  If routinely done, then there is no stigma that physicians are singling out any patient or accusing them of abusing their medication.

Urine drug screens should be based on three or more results in order to eliminate the chance of a false positive or negative result 

Please only suspend prescribing if, in your professional opinion along with the information provided, continued prescribing may present the possibility of harm or that therapeutically it would be inappropriate to continue prescribing. 

Benzodiazepine Metabolism Chart
Opiate Metabolism Chart
Drugs of Abuse Screening Information – Ministry of Health 

Drugs and Seniors

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a not-for-profit organization of over 6,000 health professionals devoted to improving the health, independence and quality of life of all older people. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policy makers and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy.

The Prescription Review Program often refers physicians to the AGS Updated Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adult.

BEERS Drug List – Health Quality Council


CADDRA Guidelines

Rx Files

RxFiles is an academic detailing program providing objective, comparative drug information to physicians, pharmacists and allied health professionals.  The program began in 1997 as a service to Saskatoon family physicians.

RxFiles continues to serve health providers and educators through newsletter reviews, Q&As, Trial Summaries, and up-to-date drug comparison charts.  The clinical relevance of these materials comes from their initial focus as academic detailing tools for the front line practitioner wanting to provide the best possible drug therapy for their patients.

Treatment Agreements

The use of treatment agreements and routine random urine screens is recommended for all chronic pain patients receiving opioids

Benzodiazepine Treatment Agreement
Patient Treatment Agreement for Safe and Effective use of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain
RxFiles Opioid Treatment Agreement
RxFiles Stimulant Treatment Agreement

Educational Programs

Inventory of Pain and Addiction Education Programs for Canadian Prescribers - February 2014(Developed by Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre and Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse)

Online Addiction Medicine Diploma (British Columbia Centre on Substance Abuse)

Overdose Prevention and Response

Overdose Survival Guide
S.A.V.E. M.E. Poster
Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act 

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