Medications and Reducing Risk of Falls | Drug News | Sep 2020

September 2020 | Drug Information and News for Health Care Providers | View PDF

Falls are responsible for about 85% of injury-related hospitalizations in Canadian older adults. About 17% of hospitalizations for falls in older adults are due to falls in residential institutions, and 80% of fall-related hospitalizations end in death.1

According to the ISMP*, the top medications associated with falls are opioids (25%), psychotropics (21%), cardiac medications (17%), and hypoglycemics (14%).2 The table below summarizes how certain types of medications may increase the risk of falls in some residents.**

1. Accreditation Canada/CIHI/CPSI. Preventing falls: from evidence to improvement in Canadian health care. 2014.
Interventions/Reducing%20Falls%20and%20Injury%20from%20Falls/FallsJointReport_2014_EN.pdf. Accessed July 29, 2020.
2. ISMP Canada. Medication incidents that increase the risk of falls: a multi-incident analysis. 2015.
Accessed July 29, 2020.
3. Dyks D, Sadowski C. Interventions to reduce medication-related falls. Can Geriatrics Soc J CME 2015;5(1):24-32.

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