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Falls and Drugs

Zoomer Report2020-3-4By: Libby Znaimer

Here’s something to watch out for if you or a loved one are on certain medications. People over 60 who take drugs like antidepressants and sleeping pills are at greater risk of falling. And some other common drugs can have the same effect.

An analysis of 22 international studies by researchers at the University of British Columbia found that those on antidepressants, anti-psychotics and sedatives were nearly twice as likely to take a spill compared with those not taking the drugs.

Not only that: some blood pressure drugs can also lead to falls, and so can some non-steroidal anti-inflammatories called NSAIDS.

The study authors say many of these drugs can leave patients feeling sleepy, dizzy and light-headed, which makes them more susceptible to falls. And since they have more difficulty than younger people in metabolizing medications, the drugs can hit their bodies harder.

They say the biggest issue is that older people are already at an increased risk of falling , and are often prescribed mood-altering medications or sedatives when there are far less dangerous forms of treatment available, such as psychotherapy.


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