Some medicines—whether they are prescription medicines or those bought without prescription—can make you dizzy or drowsy. This can predispose you to falling over.

The medicines that make falls more likely include those for:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • sleeping difficulties.

People who take four or more medicines a day are at particularly high risk of falling.

Talk to your doctor about your current medications and whether there are any that could be discontinued.

For a list of questions you may like to ask your doctor or pharmacist visit the National Prescribing Service website: www.nps.org.au

Falls Prevention and Medications PDF

Tips

  • Make a list of every medicine you take, and take it with you when you go to see a doctor or pharmacist. This list should include any herbs, tablets or supplements you buy from a health food store or from the health food section of the supermarket, as well as any medicines you buy from a pharmacy.
  • Ask your doctor to review this list thoroughly. Doing this every 6 months is a good idea if you take four or more medicines a day. Otherwise, once a year is enough.
  • If you find it difficult to remember which medications you take and when to take them, ask your pharmacist or doctor about devices that may help such as pill boxes or Webster-paks®.
  • If you feel dizzy or find it hard to concentrate, contact your doctor or pharmacist straight away.
  • If you take anticoagulant medicines (blood-thinners), you should always see a doctor if you have a fall, as you may be at risk of severe injury and bleeding.
  • Avoid sleeping tablets if possible.
  • Only take your own medicines and don't use someone else's, even if they are for the same condition.

Ways to improve your chances of a good night's sleep

  • get into a good relaxing bedtime routine
  • go to bed at about the same time each night
  • get up at about the same time each day
  • restrict alcohol, caffeine and smoking, which are all stimulants.

© NSW Health 2015, Staying Active and On Your Feet

Next Page: Specific Conditions