Prescribing of Fracture-Associated Drugs Common Both before and after Fall-Related Fracture

August 26, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Roughly three-quarters of community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries who survived a fall-related fracture filled a prescription for at least one nonopiate medication associated with an increased risk of fracture within the four months before the fracture, and about the same proportion received at least one such drug within the four months afterward, reports a study published online August 22, 2016, in JAMA Internal Medicine. For nearly 170,000 Medicare beneficiaries who survived fragility fractures (i.e., fractures related to falls) from 2007 through 2011, the researchers examined prescription drug use in the four months before and the four months after the fall. In the four months before the fracture, 77% of those who survived a hip fracture, 74% of those who survived a wrist fracture, and 76% of those who survived a shoulder fracture filled a prescription for at least one nonopiate drug that was associated with fracture risk. After the fracture, only 7% of these individuals discontinued the risky drug exposure, and other individuals received new prescriptions for these drugs after the fracture.

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