5 tips to manage medications and prevent falls

September 22, 2023 Providence Health Team

Falls Prevention News


  • Anyone taking medication is at risk of falls, but older adults are more prone to medication side effects that can increase the risk of falling.  
  • Regular medication review with your doctor is important to reduce your risk of falling.
  • 5 things to remember when reviewing medications.

Medications can have a variety of side effects that affect people in different ways, including increasing the risk of falls.


The chances of falling increase when taking more than one medication, whether the medication is over-the-counter or a prescription. Falls among aging adults can lead to serious injuries, but most falls are preventable. Here are tips to minimize your risk of falling when taking, or changing, medications.

  1. Review medications with your doctor. It is important to regularly review your medications with your doctor and pharmacist to ensure your medications are not increasing the risk of falls and other problems.
  2. Take prescriptions as prescribed. Follow all medication instructions. Reviewing your medications with your doctor gives you a clear understanding of when to take your medicine, how much, how often, and with or without certain foods or drinks. It is highly recommended not to skip doses. If you forget a dose, do not take multiple doses because this increases the likelihood of adverse side effects and falls risk.
  3. Keep a list of medications. Your doctor will want to know about every medication you are taking. Keep an up-to-date list of prescription, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. Be sure to also include medications applied topically, eye drops, and injectables. Keeping an updated list of medications allows your doctor to note potential side effects and provide falls prevention tips.
  4. Report side effects. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing problems. Some medications can make you dizzy or woozy, sleepy during the day, confused, increase urination, and can also affect coordination in your legs. If medication causes you to lose sleep at night, exhaustion during the day could also become a falls risk.
  5. Try to stick to one pharmacy. Using one pharmacy keeps you safer because the pharmacist can track all medications you are taking. They can also contact your doctor if they notice medicines that do not work well together, may be similar to another medication you are taking, or report concerns about a dosage being too high.

How Providence Swedish can help

The Providence Institute for a Healthier Community is offering a Senior Fall Prevention seminar at the Everett Family YMCA. Join us for an enlightening one-hour seminar designed to provide vital information and practical strategies to reduce the risks of falling. Our speakers will also share exercise tips, and home safety measures.

Find a free event near you or scan the QR code below to register:

Find care that’s close to you and reduce your risk of falling due to medication.

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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