Polypharmacy and medication related falls risk in orthogeriatric femoral fracture patients


Aim: To report polypharmacy rates and identify specific medications that increase falls risk in orthogeriatric femoral fracture patients. Method: A retrospective sub-analysis, using the electronic medical records of patients admitted with a minimal trauma femoral fracture to a tertiary teaching hospital during a 12-monthperiod was undertaken. Specific medications associated with falls risk were classified under three specific groups: benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics. Results: A sample of 131 patients was included in the audit. Of these, 99 patients (75.6%) were reported to be taking five or more medications prior to their falls related admission. From this, 49 patients (37.4%) were taking ten or more medications. One in five patients were found to be taking specified falls risk medications prior to admission, primarily benzodiazepines (75.8%). Conclusion: Orthogeriatric patients admitted to hospital with a femoral fracture following a minimal trauma fall were commonly taking five or more medications prior to admission. Over a third of patients that were reported to take ten or more pre-admission medications were taking specified falls risk medications. This highlights the need for medication-reviews and de-prescribing, particularly focusing on falls risk medications, to reduce incidence of falls and minimal trauma fractures in high risk patients


Polypharmacy, Falls risk, Femoral fractures, Geriatrics

How to Cite

Tran, V., Koong, E. & Knorr, K., (2022) “Polypharmacy and medication related falls risk in orthogeriatric femoral fracture patients”, British Journal of Pharmacy 7(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/bjpharm.968







Van Tran orcid logo (The Royal Melbourne Hospital)
Emily Koong (Monash University)
Kristin Knorr (The Royal Melbourne Hospital)





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Competing Interests



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This article has been peer reviewed.

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