In a new study, researchers found that opioids, antidepressants, or other psychotropic drugs may increase the risk of falls and bone fractures in older people.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of South Australia.
Previous research has shown that psychotropic drugs are used to treat a wide range of conditions including depression, pain, and dementia.
But their side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision.
In the study, the team aimed to find the impact of mind-altering drugs on older people and their contribution to falls.
They examined data from the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).
The study compared 8828 veterans with hip fractures with 35,310 people of the same age and gender.
The average age of the participants was 88 years and 63 percent were women.
The team focused on medicine use in the previous six months.
They found that antidepressants, opioids, antiepileptic medicines, benzodiazepines (used to treat anxiety) and antipsychotics all increase the risk of hip fractures.
Combining these drugs can increase the risk further. For example, using antidepressants and anxiety medicines together could increase the risk by up to five times.
The team explains that the strong side effects of the drugs may contribute to the high risk of falls and fractures.
They suggest that doctors should consider whether patients really need some of their medicines anymore.
One example is that antidepressants may no longer be required if a patient is fully recovered from depression.
In addition, dementia patients may not need antipsychotic drugs anymore. Doctors need to try to stop one medicine at a time.
The lead authors of the study are Professor Libby Roughead and Dr. Kerrie Westaway.
The study is published in Australian Prescriber.
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