Lincy George*, Erin Xavier, Irien M George, Jesteena Jacob
St. James College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (NACC Accredited), St. James Hospital Trust Pharmaceutical Research Centre (DSIR Recognized) Chalakudy, Kerala
Falls are the major cause of morbidity and mortality among the elderly. Falls are caused by a combination of factors. Most of these falls are caused by intricate interactions between environmental and internal causes. The use of benzodiazepines is linked to a high proportion of falls among older people. Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that can treat a range of conditions. Doctors often prescribe them to treat anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. The short-term use of these medications is usually safe and effective, but long-term use can lead to tolerance, dependence, and other adverse effects. After falls, older people frequently experience a loss in functional status and social activities, as well as a lower quality of life. Therefore, they should be provided to elderly patients under the current clinical standards and reviewed on a regular basis. The therapy of choice should be short-acting benzodiazepines in the elderly population. It should be given as a short-term treatment and gradually tapered thereafter. Benzodiazepines should be replaced with safer alternatives such as sleep restriction therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and sleep hygiene psychoeducation. In this article, we examine the evidence on the prevalence of benzodiazepine usage and drug dependence, as well as the fall risk of benzodiazepines in the elderly.
Keywords: Benzodiazepine use, Older people, drug dependence, adverse effects, fall risk, drug withdrawal.