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Home > Pre-Reg Pharmacist > Medications Associated With Falls in the Elderly

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Medications Associated With Falls in the Elderly

The table below lists some medications that have been associated with falls in the elderly.

Medication Potential adverse effects of medication contributing to falls
Antidepressants e.g. amitriptyline, clomipram ine, dosulepin, imipramine, fluoxetine, citalopram Drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, postural hypotension, visual disturbances

(SSRIs are less sedating and are associated with fewer antimuscarinic and cardiotoxic side effects than tricyclic antidepressants)
Antipsychotics e.g. haloperidol, risperidone, quetiapine, clozapine Postural hypotension, drowsiness, unsteady gait, confusion
Antimuscarinic (anticholinergic) drugs e.g. atropine, hyoscine, orphenadrine, procyclidine, trihexyphenidyl Drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision
Benzodiazepines e.g. diazepam, temazepam, nitrazepam Drowsiness, unsteady gait, confusion
Non-benzodiazepine hypnotics (Z Drugs) e.g. zopiclone, zolpiderm Drowsiness, unsteady gait, confusion
Dopaminergic drugs used in Parkinson’s disease e.g. co-beneldopa, co-careldopa, bromocriptine, ropinirole, pramipexole, rotigotine Sudden onset of sleep, postural hypotension, confusion
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors e.g. captopril, ramipril, enalapril, lisinopril Dizziness, postural hypotension
Angiotensin-II receptor antagonists e.g. candesartan, irbesartan, losartan Dizziness, postural hypotension
Alpha-blockers e.g. doxazosin, prazosin Dizziness, postural hypotension
Anti-arrhythmics e.g. digoxin, amiodarone, flecainide Bradycardia, arrhythmias, dizziness
Antiepileptic drugs e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine Dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, visual disturbances

(confusion, visual disturbances and ataxia may be signs of phenytoin toxicity)
Beta-blockers e.g. propranolol, atenolol, sotalol Dizziness, postural hypotension
Diuretics e.g. furosemide, bumetanide, bendroflumethiazide Dizziness, postural hypotension
Opioid analgesics e.g. morphine, codeine, dihydrocodeine, tramadol Drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, postural hypotension, visual disturbances
Sedating antihistamines (including those in OTC medicines) e.g. promethazine, chlorphenamine Confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision
Calcium-channel blockers e.g. amlodipine, felodipine, nifedipine, diltiazem, verapamil Dizziness, postural hypotension
Nitrates e.g. glyceryl trinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate, isosorbide dinitrate Dizziness, postural hypotension


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