Common Prescription Medication That May Increase Risk of Falls for San Diego Elders

Each year, more than one in three seniors sustain falls, which result in serious injuries. In some instances, falls are the result of elder or nursing home abuse. But in other instances, falls are purely accidental. An experienced San Diego attorney specializing in elder abuse or nursing home abuse, to include neglect, can help you distinguish if an injury from a fall was an accident or caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another.

As we age, the likelihood of being diagnosed with a medical condition or disorder requiring prescription medication(s) is almost guaranteed. Because of this, far too many elders run the risk of being over-medicated, or experiencing dangerous side effects which increases the risk that an elder may fall. Many seniors are prescribed medications that have dangerous interactions when taken in conjunction with other medications.

To reduce the risk of experiencing potentially dangerous prescription interactions, it is recommended that seniors use caution when taking prescriptions or even over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

Geriatric medication: elderly woman's hand holding the assortment of drugs that she takes on a regular basis. The medicines include a mild sedative (green capsule); piriton (yellow tablets), an anti-histamine drug used to relieve symptoms of hay fever and a white aspirin tablet.

Elders and Anti-Psychotic Prescriptions

These types of drugs should only be while under a physician’s care for ailments such as depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.

Listed under the common name of Haldol, Risperdal, or Seroquel, if used incorrectly, anti-psychotic medications can increase the risk of stroke or cause tremors, thus increasing the likelihood of experiencing a fall.

Elders and Anticholinergic Prescriptions

If used incorrectly, prescriptions with common names like Elavil, Tofranil, Ditropan, Bentyl, and OTC medicines like Tylenol PM and Benadryl, may cause impairments to vision, constipation, urination problems, and confusion, which can increase the risk of sustaining a fall.

If an elder is under care for Parkinson’s Disease, some forms of depression, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), contact their pharmacist or physician to address other possible negative interactions.

Elders and Opioid Based Pain Management Prescriptions

To manage some forms of pain, opioid based prescriptions such as Demerol are often prescribed by physicians. However, some seniors may react negatively to taking narcotic analgesics and experience tremors, hallucinations, and seizures which may result in falling.

Because each situation is different, contact your loved elder’s primary care physician or pharmacist for additional information.

Elders and Anti-Anxiety & Anti-Insomnia Prescriptions

Although their intent is to assist in reliving symptoms of anxiety or insomnia, medications like Xanax, Valium, or Ambien can have dangerous consequences for San Diego elders.

A common adverse effect that may result in a fall is general dysphoria as the body processes out the medication. Seniors may feel less alert or tired when waking or from extended use of these medications.

If your loved elder experiences these symptoms, contact their physician or pharmacist to discuss the effects and possible alternatives.

Elders and Muscle Relaxant Prescriptions

Prescriptions like Flexeril, Robaxin, and Soma may cause confusion if used incorrectly, which can lead to a fall.

If your loved elder experiences these symptoms, contact their physician or pharmacist to discuss the effects and possible alternatives.

Talking with Your Love Edler’s Health Care Provider about Preventing Falls from Prescription Medications

To reduce the likelihood of negative interactions, take time to review the current prescription and supplement regimen either annually or biannually with their primary care physician (PCP). Discuss if it is necessary to maintain current dosing levels for the prescriptions prescribed. Additionally, discuss any negative reactions that may have been experienced while taking the medication(s).

If you are concerned that a friend, family member, or loved one has been suffering from nursing home abuse or negligence, or has been injured as a result of a fall, contact an experienced California elder abuse lawyer to evaluate your case and advise you on your next steps. San Diego Elder Abuse Lawyer, Christopher Walton, has built a reputation for providing compassionate and strong advocacy for victims of elder abuse and their families. Call (866) 338-7079 for a confidential consultation.