Monday, August 10, 2009

Certain drugs may increase risk of falling

In elderly men and women, certain medications can increase the risk of falling, new research shows.

Findings from a 4-year study conducted in France suggest the risk of falling is 1.4 times greater among elderly men and women taking a long-acting benzodiazepine, compared with age-matched men and women not using this type of anti-anxiety medication.

Dr. Annick Alperovitch, at INSERM in Paris, and colleagues also found a moderately increased risk of falling among elderly men and women who regularly used mood- and behavior-altering "psychotropic" medications.

Their findings, reported in the journal BMC Geriatrics, identified similar risk among elderly individuals reporting regular use of tranquilizers, muscle relaxants and anti-spasmodics, and some antihistamines that block nerve responses (so-called "anticholinergics").


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