Drugs rethink may lower falls risk

CUTTING back or ceasing medications should be considered in all older people to prevent falls, according to international guidelines revised for the first time in nine years.

The 2010 Clinical Practice Guideline for Prevention of Falls in Older Persons, developed by the American and British geriatric societies, stressed reviewing medication for all older people, not just those taking four or more drugs, as had been previously recommended.

While reducing psychotropic medication was the best single intervention to reduce falls, adjusting all medication could lower the incidence of falls, the guidelines stated.

The expert panel who wrote the new guidelines also said evidence was building that SSRIs increased the risk of fall risk as much as tricyclic antidepressants.

The guidelines also recommended that doctors determine whether older patients were at risk of falling by asking not only if they had fallen recently, but if they were unsteady