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Muscle Relaxant and Antihistamine Dangers

Seniors can face greater dangers from certain drugs than younger people do. The amplified negative side effects can result in emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalization and even death (mortality).

A new study looks at veterans (65 years and older) to determine the potential dangers of skeletal muscle relaxants (55,566 patients) and antihistamine drugs (60,058 patients). For those taking muscle relaxants, researchers found that “mortality (death) was lower in skeletal muscle relaxants-exposed patients, but risk of emergency care and hospitalization was higher.” They also found that “mortality, ED visits, and hospitalizations were higher in the antihistamine-exposed group.”

They concluded that “skeletal muscle relaxants and antihistamines are associated with an increased risk of ED visits and hospitalizations in elderly patients. Antihistamines were also associated with an increased risk of death, further validating the classification of these drug classes as ‘high risk.’”

Read the Abstract

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