Medications that increase your risk of falling

Many drugs can increase the risk of falls. The more drugs you take, the greater the chance that one or a combination of them will make a fall more likely to happen. Some medications are well known for side effects that increase a person’s risk of falling.

Doctors prescribe anti-hypertensive medications to keep blood pressure under control and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure. However, these drugs can cause blood pressure to get too low when you stand up from a lying or sitting position (orthostatic hypotension). This happens commonly in older folks. The result is lightheadedness and feeling faint, which can easily lead to a fall.

Medications that suppress the central nervous system are among those most likely to contribute to falling, as they reduce alertness and cause slower reactions and movements. These include:

  • Anti-anxiety drugs, such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), an older antihistamine. Because it causes drowsiness, it is the most popular ingredient in over-the-counter sleep aids like Nyquil, Sominex, and Unisom. It is often combined with pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol PM), ibuprofen (Motrin PM, Advil PM), and naproxen (Aleve PM).
  • Prescription medications to treat overactive bladder, such as oxybutynin (Ditropan) and tolterodine (Detrol).
  • Tricyclic antidepressants. Most often doctors prescribe these types of antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil), to help relieve chronic pain, especially nerve pain.
  • Prescription sleep drugs, including zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata), and eszopiclone (Lunesta).
  • Narcotics (opioids), such as codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Percodan, Percocet), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and fentanyl (Duragesic).

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Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

1 John 1:8

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1 John 3:18

18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

1 John 4:6

We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

1 Kings 17:24

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Ephesians 6:14

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

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