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Medicines that may contribute to falls
PLEASE NOTE: This is a general guide only Patients should always contact their own GP or Community Pharmacist for further • Multiple Medicines
Patients on FOUR or more medicines, prescribed or bought, are at greater risk of having a fall. Allpatients over 75 should have an annual medication review.
Medicines for mental health – psychotropic drugs
This group includes antidepressants, antipsychotics and benzodiazepines. The group isimplicated in falls, and should be used for specific indications for the minimum time necessary.
Benzodiazepines increase the risk of falling
E.g. diazepam, lorazepam, temazepam. The higher the dose the greater the risk. To reduce theeffect change to diazepam, (see BNF) which has a range of dosages, or temazepam liquid5mg/5ml.
Low Blood Pressure on standing
On standing blood pressure may fall very quickly causing dizziness.
To screen for this risk factor blood pressure should be measured when the patient is lyingdown and standing up .A drop of systolic BP > 20mm Hg or diastolic >BP 10mm Hg is arisk factor.
Compression or support stockings can help to prevent a fall in blood pressure onstanding.
The risk of falls increases with the number of risk factors:
-previous fall -4 or more medicines -poor mobility/gait -balance disorder -psychotropic drug use -alcohol >1 unit /day -low blood pressure on standing -impaired thinking -impaired vision -impaired hearingPatients with 4 or more risk factors from these above are at greatest risk • Calcium and vitamin D supplements can reduce the severity of injury
following a fall
Calcium and Vitamin D supplements can be prescribed for those at greatest risk i.e.
o Elderly patients either housebound or living in residential /nursing accommodation.
o Patients who have a low body weight (BMI <19 kg/m2) o Patients who have been taking a corticosteroid e.g. prednisolone> 7.5mg daily for 6 o Patients who have had a diagnosis of osteoporosis and who cannot take biphosphonates.
Suitable products are AdCal D3 tablets 15p per day or CaCit D3 sachets (to make a flavoured drink) 26p per day.
M e d i c i n e s t h a t m a y c o n t r i b u t e t o f a l l s
C o n d i t i o n u s e d f o r
C o m m o n d r u g n a m e s
R i s k F a c t o r
Trazadone,Citalopram, Fluoxetine (Prozac), Antipsychotics
(Seranace),Promazine, Amisulpride,Olanzapine Anti-muscarinic
Benzodiazepines and
Diazepam (Valium), Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) Hypnotics
Lorazepam, Oxazepam, Nitrazepam (Mogadon) Chloral Betaine (Welldorm), Chloral Hydrate Drugs for Parkinson's disease
Co-beneldopa, Co-careldopa. Selegiline.
Moderate Risk Drugs
ACE inhibitors
Captopril,Enalopril,Lisinopril, Perindopril, Angiotensin II antagonists
Cetrizine(Zirtek),Desloratidine,Chlorpheniramine, (Piriton),Diphenhydramine, Promethazine.
Propranolol,Atentolol,Bisoprolol,Sotaolol, Diuretics
Bumetanide, Amiloride, Spironolactone.
Low Risk Drugs
Calcium Channel Blockers
Glyceryl trinitrate,Isosorbide Mononitrate, Opiate analgesics
Oral anti-diabetics
Proton pump inhibitorsPPIs
and H 2 antagonists


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