Psychotropic drugs, including antipsychotics and antidepressants, can increase the risk of falls among nursing home residents, a recently published study asserts.
Previous research has shown a link between psychotropic prescriptions and falls in nursing home residents, but little was known of how as-needed prescriptions impacted fall rates. The study, published in the December issue of JAMDA - The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine by Dutch researchers, not only backed up earlier research, but found a relationship between falls and drugs taken on an as-needed basis as well.
Of the 2,368 nursing home residents in the study, nearly 70% had a prescription for at least one psychotropic drug per day. An additional 8.8% had an as-needed psychotropic prescription. The study's authors found that 33.5% of residents had at least one fall, which most often occurred on days when a psychotropic drug was prescribed on a scheduled basis.
Residents receiving the drugs on a scheduled basis had a nearly threefold increase in falls. An increase in fall incidence also was noted in residents prescribed the drugs on an as-needed basis. Results of the study also showed that male residents had a fall risk nearly two times higher than female residents.
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Antipsychotics linked to increased fall risks for SNF residents, study confirms