Role of medicines management in preventing falls in older people
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Role of medicines management in preventing falls in older people

Heather Smith Consultant pharmacist – older people, NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group embedded in Leeds GP Confederation Clinical Pharmacy Team, Leeds, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To identify medicines that can precipitate or cause falls, as well as those that can increase the risk of fall-related injuries

  • To understand the importance of including medication reviews as part of falls prevention strategies

  • To consider actions you could take in your practice to prevent medicines-related falls in older people

Falls are common in older people and are a cause of preventable morbidity and mortality. As well as causing injury, falls can result in pain, distress, loss of confidence, loss of independence and increased mortality. Older people are more likely to visit an emergency department following a fall, therefore these incidents place a high burden on these patients and their carers, as well as on healthcare systems. Appropriate risk assessment accompanied by multifactorial falls prevention interventions can reduce the risk of falls. Assessments should include a medication review because various medicines, sometimes referred to as ‘falls risk increasing drugs’, can precipitate or contribute to falls. This article examines some of the medicines in this group that can contribute to falls, serious injuries and fractures in older people. It also discusses the importance of medicines management as part of falls risk assessment and prevention interventions.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2022.e1376

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Smith H (2022) Role of medicines management in preventing falls in older people. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2022.e1376

Published online: 26 January 2022

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