Half of the 20 most commonly prescribed medications taken by older adults may raise the risk of falls, according to new research. Painkillers and antidepressants were most strongly tied to a greater likelihood of being injured in a fall, in those over age 65.
More than 40 million people in the U.S. are over 65 years old, an age group that tends to take a large number of prescription drugs. Fully one third take eight or more medications daily, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Falls are a leading cause of disability and death among seniors and researchers increasingly suspect that prescription medications play an important role in fall injuries.