Study of fall risk-increasing drugs in elderly patients before and after a bone fracture

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Abstract

Background

Accidental falls have a significant economic and human impact. The use of certain drugs is one of the modifiable risk factors associated with these events.

Objective

The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of use and to explore changes in treatment with fall-related drugs in patients over 65 years of age admitted as a result of a fall-related fracture.

Methods

Observational and prospective study performed in a tertiary level hospital. A list of fall risk-increasing drugs (FRIDs) was drawn up. The main study variables were number and type of FRIDs prescribed at admission and 1 month after the fracture and number, type, treating physician and place where changes in FRIDs were implemented.

Results

In total, 252 patients were included. At admission, 91.3% were receiving at least one FRID, mean daily use was 3.1 FRIDs and the most frequently prescribed FRIDs were diuretics (18%), renin–angiotensin system-acting agents (15.8%) and antidepressants (15%). One month later, mean daily use was 3.4 FRIDs (p=0.099) and a significant increase was detected in the use of hypnotics (p=0.003) and antidepressants (p=0.042). A total of 327 changes in treatment were recorded (1.3 changes/patient). Of the changes, 52.6% were new prescriptions, 72.2% occurred at discharge and 56.6% were ordered by a geriatrician.

Conclusions

The use of FRIDs among patients with a fall-related fracture is very high. This use rises 1 month after the fracture, significantly in the case of hypnotics and antidepressants.

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