Fall Reduction Program - Effect of Medications

Must we consider the effect of medications on patients'/residents' risk of falling?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only
National Patient Safety Goal.09.02.01-EP1 requires the organization to evaluate the patient’s risk for falls and take action to reduce the risk of falling as well as the risk of injury, should a fall occur. The evaluation could include a patient’s fall history; review of medications and alcohol consumption; gait and balance screening; assessment of walking aids, assistive technologies, and protective devices; and environmental assessments.
It is helpful to identify medications that are frequently associated with increased risk of falling. Some suggested  classifications are: hypnotics, sedatives, analgesics, psychotropics, antihypertensives, laxatives and diuretics. Please consider not only the class of drug, but the number of drugs (polypharmacy) and the potential for additive effects when they accumulate in the body that also increases risk.
Last updated on May 21, 2020
Manual: Home Care
Chapter: National Patient Safety Goals NPSG

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