Psychotropics increase falls risk among NH residents

Psychotropic drugs increase the risk of falling for nursing home residents, according to a new study published in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

Researchers from the Netherlands studied a total of 2,368 residents in nine nursing homes. Of them, more than 1,600 residents (68.8 percent) took least one psychotropic drug per day. Another 8.8 percent had an as-needed prescription.

Researchers found 794 residents, one-third, had at least one fall, most of which occurred on days when a psychotropic drug was prescribed on a scheduled basis. The falls risk is almost two times higher for men than women.

People who took antipsychotics and antidepressants had an increased fall risk whether they took their prescription on a scheduled or as-needed basis. However, those who took a prescription on a scheduled basis were found to have nearly a three-fold increased risk of falls.

There was no association of increased falls risk for those taking benzodiazepines.

Topics: Clinical