New Insights Dose-Response Relationship Between Psychotropic Drugs and Falls: A Study in Nursing Home Residents With Dementia

Shanty Sterke, Ed van Beeck, Nathalie van der Velde, Bert Ziere, M Petrovic, Caspar Looman, LJM van der Cammen

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The contribution of specific psychotropic drugs to fall risk in patients with dementia has not been quantified precisely until now. The authors evaluated the dose-response relationship between psychotropic drugs and falls in nursing home residents with dementia. Daily drug use and daily falls were recorded in 248 nursing home residents with dementia from January 1, 2006, to January 1, 2008. For each day of the study period, data on drug use were abstracted from the prescription database, and falls were retrieved from a standardized incident report system, resulting in a data set of 85 074 person-days. The authors found significant dose-response relationships for the use of antipsychotics (hazard ratio [HR], 2.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.49-5.17), anxiolytics (1.60; 1.20-2.14), hypnotics and sedatives (2.58; 1.42-4.68), and antidepressants (2.84; 1.93-4.16). Fall risk increased significantly with 28% at 0.25 of the defined daily dose (DDD) of an antipsychotic or antidepressant, with 8% at 0.2 of the DDD of an anxiolytic, and with 56% at 0.5 of the DDD of a hypnotic or sedative; it increased further with dose increments and with combinations of psych otropics. Even at low dosages, psychotropic drugs are associated with increased fall risk in nursing home residents with dementia.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)947-955
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Research programs

  • EMC COEUR-09
  • EMC NIHES-02-65-02

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