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Medicines and Falls

Some medicines can increase the risk of falling because of side effects such as drowsiness, fainting, fatigue or weakness, so be sure to take care at home and as you go about your day. It is also important to note that some medicines may react with each other, which can exacerbate these problems.

If you are taking any drugs that may have these effects, talk to your doctor. Do not simply stop taking the medicine as this could put your health at risk. With all medicines, the risks and benefits must be weighed. There may be alternative medication that your doctor could prescribe instead. You and your doctor will need to discuss all of the options and consider how best to manage any risks of falling.

With any new treatment it is always a good idea to ask your doctor the following questions regarding medicines and the risk of falls:

  • Name of the medicine(s)
  • The reason for taking the medicine and what the medicine does
  • When you should take it
  • Any special instructions about how you should take it e.g. with meals, not with dairy products, at bedtime etc and for how long?
  • What the possible side effects are (how your body might react to the medicine)
  • Whether the medicine reacts to any other medicines, foods, drink or herbal supplements that you take
  • If there is anything you should avoid doing while you are taking it e.g. driving
  • How you will know if the medicine is working
  • When you need to see the doctor again.

You can also talk to your pharmacist who can give useful advice on taking care at home with regards to medication and risk of falling.

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