Members of the ABCD team have found that serious falls are more than twice as likely in older men who take medicines with potent anticholinergic properties. The research team used data from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), to discover the link between these medicines and falls which cause serious injury. The effect remained even after accounting for differences in health and other risk factors for falls. A greater use of such medicines increased the risk for these men further. There was no such association for women, however.
Lead researcher Dr Kathryn Richardson said: “Our findings indicate the importance for doctors, pharmacists and healthcare professionals to regularly review the appropriateness of medications taken by their older patients.
“It is however, important that people don’t stop taking any medications before speaking with their GP. It is not fully clear why the same link was not found in women and further research is needed to explore this and the reasons behind the findings in men.
“Experiencing a fall can have a devastating impact on older people’s lives and is a major contributor to care home admission and hospitalisation, so it is vitally important for us to find ways to reduce the risk of falls or their severity.”
Dr Chris Fox said: “With the rising levels of frailty in older people we must develop strategies to maintain health and avoid prescribing medicines which could cause a deterioration- such an approach could be simply implemented using tools available”
Dr Ian Maidment said: “After a fall, an older person may never regain the same quality of life. This research helps us to understand how medication is linked to falls. It is vital that doctors, nurses and pharmacists review medication if someone has suffered a recent fall.”
More information is available here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3178026/Do-counter-medicines-hayfever-insomnia-raise-risk-falls-older-men.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490