Meds can raise risk of elderly falls
Some of the most commonly prescribed medications taken by seniors may raise their risk of falling, according to new research. The study pointed out that painkillers and antidepressants brought the greatest risk for injuries in a fall.
The research looked at 64,000 Swedes over age 65 and found that medications that affect the central nervous system were the most concerning.
The researchers found that men and women taking opioid painkillers and men taking antidepressants were 75 percent more likely to have a fall injury. Drugs for ulcers and GERD, calcium, vitamin B12 and some non-opioid painkillers were also linked to a 15 to 75 percent risk of injury from a fall.
Experts say it’s important for people to pay attention to the symptoms caused by the drugs, such as vertigo, dizziness, drowsiness, muscular weakness and cognitive impairment. The researchers noted that the results reinforce why doctors need to weigh the risks against the benefits of prescribing these drugs to the elderly.