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Inappropriate Medications and Risk of Falls in Older Adults


Among older adults, potentially inappropriate medications have been associated with an increased risk of falls and hip fractures (a proxy measure for serious falls). In addition to the medications listed in other chapters in this book, skeletal muscle relaxants (SMR), antiepileptic drugs (AED), opioids, and combinations of medications affecting the central nervous system (CNS) have been shown to increase the risk of serious falls. Moreover, this increased risk is even more pronounced among older adults with a previous history of falls and hip fractures. This chapter will summarize literature highlighting the specific risks of these medications, with an emphasis on rigorously designed observational studies.


  • Inappropriate Medication
  • Adjust Risk Ratio
  • Skeletal Muscle Relaxant
  • Central Nervous System Adverse Effect
  • Standardize Daily Dose

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Antiepileptic drug


Adjusted risk ratio


Adjusted odds ratio


Confidence interval


Central nervous system


Cytochrome P450


Incident risk ratio


National Committee for Quality Assurance


Odds ratio


Potentially inappropriate medications


Relative risk


Skeletal muscle relaxants


United States


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Correspondence to Jennifer Greene Naples PharmD .

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Naples, J.G., Hanlon, J.T., Ruby, C.M., Greenspan, S.L. (2016). Inappropriate Medications and Risk of Falls in Older Adults. In: Huang, A., Mallet, L. (eds) Medication-Related Falls in Older People. Adis, Cham.

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