Benzodiazepine Initiation and Dose Escalation: A Risk Factor for Inpatient Falls.
Ann Pharmacother. 2016 Nov 27;:
Authors: Skinner BW, Johnston EV, Saum LM
BACKGROUND: Benzodiazepines (BZDs) place patients at a significant risk of falling. The current literature does not address if this risk is increased during initiation or dose escalations of BZDs.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if initiation or dose escalations of BZD regimens are associated with an increased risk of falls in hospitalized patients compared with patients maintained on their home dose or who had their dose decreased from baseline.
METHODS: This retrospective case-control study evaluated hospitalized patients aged 45 years or older who received a BZD. Patients who did not fall were collected in a 3:1 ratio to patients who fell. Comparisons were made between BZD regimens prior to admission and those 48 hours prior to the index date. The date of fall served as the index date for patients who fell, and the median time-to-fall served as the index date for all other patients.
RESULTS: A total of 132 patients were included in the study (33 falls and 99 without a fall). No significant differences were noted in demographics, baseline mobility, or past medical history. Patients who fell had a significantly longer median length of stay (15 vs 10 days; P = 0.025). Additionally, patients who fell were more likely to have had their BZD regimen initiated or dose escalated compared with patients who did not fall (63.6% vs 41.4%; P = 0.043).
CONCLUSIONS: The risk of falling while on a BZD is increased on initiation and dose escalations. Hospitals should ensure judicious use of BZDs in inpatients to reduce the risk of falls.
PMID: 27895235 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]