Typically, when visiting the pharmacy to get your medications you wait in line, maybe ask a few questions, and leave, not having discussed with the pharmacist or healthcare provider how your medications can impact your risk of falling. But did you know that there are many things that your local pharmacy and provider can do to help you better understand your medications and keep you safe from falls?
Many medications have unwanted side effects, like dizziness, drowsiness, or sudden drops in blood pressure. If you take multiple medications, they may interact with each other and cause additional side effects which can put you at risk for a fall. When managing your medications, in addition to asking what side effects you might experience, other things that should be discussed with your pharmacist and provider include:
If you have prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D), you may be eligible for one-on-one Medication Therapy Management (MTM) annually. MTM can help you learn how to manage your medications and includes a comprehensive medication review. For people with more than one chronic condition or those that take multiple medications a day, this can be particularly helpful. Some organizations offer MTM over the phone. Some pharmacies also offer annual fall risk evaluations for older adults, covered by Medicare. You should also talk to your provider about your medications and their effect on your falls risk.
If you use more than one pharmacy, or mail-order medications, it is especially important to review your medications every year with your pharmacist or healthcare provider. The next time you call or visit your local pharmacy or provider, ask how they can help you prevent falls. Do they offer one-on-one medication reviews? Can you get a falls risk assessment at your pharmacy or annual wellness visit? Managing your medications safely is a step towards staying falls free.
Not sure where to start? Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist at your next visit or give them a call! You can also visit fallsfreewi.org to learn more about medications and falls risk.