Falls can be caused by almost any medication that acts on the brain or on the circulation because they can impair balance, cause dizziness or make you feel drowsy. If you are on 4 or more medications, this risk increases even further.

It is important to have your medications reviewed regularly by your GP or pharmacist so they can ensure each medicine is still needed and appropriate, keep an eye on any side effects and alter dosages if necessary. This is particularly important as we age as our sensitivity to medicines increase and dosages may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Do not stop taking medications, or take self-purchased medications or herbal remedies without first consulting your GP or pharmacist.

Make sure you take your medications as prescribed by your GP. There may be specific instructions such as taking them at a certain time of day or on an empty stomach etc., that are important to their effectiveness.

Consider filling a dosette box to help organise your medications and/ or using an alarm to prompt you to take them.

Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of drowsiness whilst taking some medication so always check with a pharmacist or GP if this is safe to do

Your pharmacist may also be able to advise you of alternatives if struggling to swallow tablets.

Pain relief and falls

Pain can affect the way you mobilise, and poor gait pattern increases the risk of falls.

What I can do:

  • Take pain relief as prescribed. Regular pain relief helps you remain active in a safe way. If you do not like taking pain relief regularly, make sure you take some before you are active, for example going out shopping or to an appointment
  • Speak to your GP about your pain relief if you are concerned about taking it, or you do not feel it is effective
  • Consider alternative forms of non-pharmaceutical pain relief such as heat, ice or TENS machines. They may not cure the pain but may make it more manageable

Help from a Pharmacist