More older adults are taking drugs that can lead to falls

 | Post date: 2021/09/7 | 
Older adults increasingly are taking medications that are prescribed for valid reasons but that also elevate their risks for falls, as indicated in a new study published in Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety earlier this year. In their analysis of government data, researchers found that the share of patients matching this profile surged from 57% in 1999 to a staggering 94% in 2017.
Deaths attributed to falls among older adults more than doubled over the study period. Major contributors to the trend include more frequent use of antihypertensives and antidepressants within this demographic. Women—in particular, Black females overall and white females ages 85 years and older—appear to be especially vulnerable.
The research team, led by Amy Shaver, PhD, PharmD, MPH, does not necessarily believe older adults should be deprived of important medications solely because those drugs could increase the risk of falling. However, they do emphasize the importance of awareness. Shaver, who is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, said it is critical that patients look for the warning labels on their medications and ask questions.
“They should talk to their doctors and pharmacists about what those side effects could mean and what they can do to ensure they stay safe and not fall,” she said.



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