Many medications have the potential to increase the risk of falls. These risks are particularly apparent in older adults who are often sensitive to the adverse effects of medications. There are a variety of complex and sometimes subtle mechanisms in which medications and other factors can contribute to falls. These may include effects on cognition, blood pressure, balance, gait, muscle strength and eye sight. Beyond the immediate impacts, there may be long lasting implications for those who suffer from falls. Detrimental effects upon confidence and quality of life may occur and many individuals find themselves forced to shift to a higher level of care following a fall.
By analysing pharmacoepidemilogical data gathered from thousands of completed medication reviews, we can quantitatively assess and stratify falls risk. Using this method, we can assign a level of falls risk based on a combination of factors including age, gender, medications, pathology and medical conditions. This approach will highlight for prescribers situations whereby the approach to the management of an individual may confer extra risk of a serious adverse outcome such as a fall.