Background: Previously, we have shown that withdrawal of fall-risk-increasing drugs (FRIDs) as a single intervention reduces falls incidence. Improvement of mobility may be an important factor in this finding and we therefore tested whether mobility tests improved after FRID withdrawal. Methods: In a prospective cohort study of 137 geriatric outpatients (age 77.7 ± 5.7 years), FRIDs were withdrawn in all fallers, if possible, between April 2003 and November 2004. All patients underwent mobility testing at baseline, including a 10m walking test (WT), Timed 'Up & Go' Test (TUGT), Functional Reach Test (FRT), isometric quadriceps femoris muscle strength and a body sway test. Retesting occurred at a mean follow-up of 6.7 months. The effect of FRID withdrawal (discontinuation or dose reduction) on test outcomes was calculated using both multivariate linear and binary logistic regression analyses. Results: In the group of fallers with FRID withdrawal all mobility tests improved, as opposed to non-fallers and fallers without FRID withdrawal. After adjustment for confounders, the odds ratio of no improvement was 0.14 (95% CI 0.03, 0.59) for the TUGT, 0.19 (95% CI 0.04, 0.86) for the 10m WT, 0.48 (95% CI 0.14, 1.57) for the FRT, 0.46 (95% CI 0.14, 1.48) for the quadriceps strength test and 0.49 (95% CI 0.15, 1.62) for the body sway test. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that FRID withdrawal may be effective as a single intervention in a geriatric setting. In addition to reducing falls (as shown in our previous study), FRID withdrawal significantly improved 10m WT and TUGT results over a mean follow-up period of 6.7 months. These tests may therefore be useful tools for monitoring the clinical effect of FRID withdrawal.

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Journal Drugs and Aging
van der Velde, N, Stricker, B.H.Ch, Pols, H.A.P, & van der Cammen, T.J.M. (2007). Withdrawal of fall-risk-increasing drugs in older persons: Effect on mobility test outcomes. Drugs and Aging, 24(8), 691–699. doi:10.2165/00002512-200724080-00006