Use of Medicines that Influence Falls or Fractures in a Residential Home Setting
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Objective: To study the pattern of use of medicines that may contribute to, or protect against, falls and fractures in the setting of a UK residential home population, and to compare the results with a similar study conducted in 2001.
Setting and method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2003 in 18 residential homes. A trained community pharmacist visited the homes to retrieve information about use of medicines whilst demographic details were provided by the residential home staff.
Main outcome measure: The proportion of patients who were prescribed medicines with a potential positive benefit in preventing fractures, and medicines that may cause elderly people to fall.
Results: The study population consisted of 581 residents. Compared to the 2001 study, the use of both calcium and vitamin D had increased significantly (8.3% versus 2.1%). Although, the overall prescribing of psychotropics in 2003 was relatively low, there was a trend for increased prescribing of these medicines which have been identified as risk factors for falling.
Conclusion: In a residential home setting in the UK, the use of psychotropic drugs is not uncommon, whereas there is limited use of drugs that have the potential for preventing morbidity associated with falls.
KeywordsDrug use Elderly patients Epidemiological study Residential homes United Kingdom
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