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Effects of Some Medications in Older People

Learn more about the effects of some medications in older people.
a person taking medication
© CQUniversity 2021


  • Age and disease can result in changes in pharmacokinetics – the time it takes to absorb, distribute, metabolise and excrete drugs
  • These can also cause different effects on cellular and organ function
  • Not adhering to drug therapy or misuse can increase the risk of adverse effects
  • Certain classes of medications are more likely to increase falls risk
  • Centrally acting or psychoactive medications are more likely to contribute to falls. Can increase risk by up to 25%
  • These medications include benzodiazepines, antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants
  • Antiepileptic drugs and drugs that lower blood pressure are weakly associated with falls risk
  • Cardiac drugs and analgesic agents are not associated with increased falls risk
  • Taking multiple drugs contributes to increased falls risk
  • Of greater concern when osteoporosis is an issue.
© CQUniversity 2021
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