Older people, who could be using home care, are at a higher risk of falling if their antidepressant prescription has recently changed, research indicated.
Care home residents are five times as likely to experience a fall within two days of a new prescription or increased dose of antidepressants, specifically non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Authors of the study, published online in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, advised that those working with older people keep a close eye on their patients shortly after such a prescription alteration.
"These drugs are effective at treating the symptoms of depression, and many clinicians are reluctant to withhold their use based solely on a risk for falls," explained lead author Sarah D Berry, from the Institute of Aging Research.
Meanwhile, Jo Bullock, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, recommended that the friends and family of older people help them de-clutter their homes in order to prevent unnecessary falls.
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