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Prescription to Fall

Published: February 12, 2009

Prescription medicines may have unintended effects, including an increased risk of falling. That’s the recent warning from Centers for Disease Control experts who add that falls are the leading cause of injury and death among older adults. Recent data links a class of drugs called benzodiazepines and increased falls. The central nervous system depressants are used to treat a long list of problems including alcohol abuse, arthritis, seizures, and more recently, anxiety disorders. Medicines called anticholinergics that reduce smooth muscle spasms in the lungs, GI tract, and bladder have also been connected to falls in the elderly.

Are you or a loved one currently taking a benzodiazepine? If so, have you noted an increase in falls?

What precautions do you take to prevent falls at home?

For more information on fall prevention, visit the National Resource Center for Safe Aging at safeaging.org.

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