Falls Syndrome

The falls syndrome is a very common and serious problem for people of age. There might be many factors to cause falls and numerous researches provide evidence that medication is a potential contributor (Rubenstein, Josephson, 2002).

Despite the fact that in clinical practice it is very difficult to make any conceptions concerning use of medication and falls in elderly people; however, there can be no doubts that these are associated with each other and because of this assessment of medication is a very important issue to be taken into account while prescribing medications as they might increase risk for falling (Cumming, 1998).

Evidence based approaches are combined with knowledge of possible effects of drug therapy. The evaluation also involves the following factors:

Previous history of falls of the patient;

Assessment of various issues in the laboratory conditions (the issues should be identified by the health care staff);

Assessment of balance and gait;

Comprehensive physical evaluation of the patient, which involves examination of vision, measurement of the blood pressure, examination which targets neurologic, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal health aspects (Tinetti, 2003).

There are many other aspects which should be taken into account, such as previous drug history or alcohol taking. The list of the medications which are considered to be especially potential to falling should be taken into account (Ensrud, 2002). Such drugs are:






Nonsterodial anti inflammatory drugs

Muscle relaxants


Narcotic analgesics



Histamine H2 0 receptor blockers

Antiparkinson drugs

Hypoglycemic (Wang, 2001)

Falling is a serious problem for elderly people and in many cases, although these were not examined in clinical practice, medication contributes to greater risk of falling. A list of medications which promote falling and a range of other health-related factors should be taken into account when developing a plan of treatment for patients or addressing the cases of falling.


Cumming, R. (1998). Falls and fractures in the elderly. Drugs Aging, 12.

Ensrud, K. et al (2002). Central nervous system: active medications and risk for falls in older women. J Am Geriatri Soc, 50.

Rubenstein, I., Josephson, K. (2002). The epidemiology of falls and syncope. Clin Geriatr Med, 18.

Tinetti, M. (2003). Preventing falls in elderly persons. N Engl J Med, 348.

Wang P., et al, (2001). Hazardous benzodiazepine regimens in the elderly: effects of half-life, dosage, and duration on risk of hip fracture. Am J Psychiatry, 158.

Posted by: Cathleen Stgelais

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