Taking two or more meds doubles fall rate for adults: study

January 25, 2012

Auckland, New Zealand – The at-home fall rate for young and middle-aged adults doubles when taking of two or more certain types of prescription medications, according to a new study (.pdf file) from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Researchers analyzed 335 people between 25 and 60 years old who were admitted to an emergency department because of an at-home fall between 2005 and 2006. According to a press release accompanying the report, taking blood pressure or cholesterol prescription medications in conjunction with one or more other prescriptions was associated with the highest increased fall risk.

However, using asthma inhalers, anti-inflammatories, steroids or antidepressants in addition to one or more other prescriptions was not associated with significantly increased risk, the release said.

Researchers said it was not clear whether the increased fall risk was associated with the prescription medication or the underlying conditions necessitating the medicine. They concluded that people who take multiple prescription medicines should be made aware of their increased fall risk.

The study was published online in February in the journal Injury Prevention.