UNC-Chapel Hill researchers offered the following advice to patients and practitioners:
If patients see a drug they are taking on the list, they should not stop taking it. Next time they see their doctor, talk about the risk of falling and possible alternative medications.
Physicians should look for medications that have been proven safe and effective in older adults and look for medicines that have less of a sedating effect. Physicians should be especially wary of anticholinergics, a class of drugs that affect nerve cells used to treat a wide range of conditions.
Pharmacists should be alert for patients 65 and older who are taking four or more drugs and be sure the patients know about the additional risk of falling created by their medications.
To download a list of the prescription medications that increase the risk of falls for patients 65 and older, click here.