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Depression Meds May Up Fracture Risk

Experts have long debated whether depression or the medicines used to treat the condition, cause osteoporosis.

The issue is germane as a recent study found that people ages 50 and over who regularly took antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) had double the rate of fractures as people not using such medications.

However, other research points to depression itself as a source of endocrine changes that can damage bone.
The situation is discussed in the June 2007 issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Whether the danger comes from depression, the drugs used to treat it, or something else, doctors are paying more attention to this association.

During the 1990s, depression began to emerge as a possible cause of bone loss, rather than a result. Scientists studied women who didn’t have osteoporosis symptoms or even know they had the condition.

They found lower bone mineral density in those who were depressed. Moreover, the link was found in both younger women and women past menopause. Other studies have found a similar relationship, so investigators have been looking at hormones and brain chemicals potentially involved in both depression and bone loss.

Researchers working with an animal model found that depression triggers the release of noradrenaline, which interferes with bone-building cells. Moreover, they found that imipramine—a member of an older class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants—reversed both depression and depression-induced bone loss.

It may be a long time before the depression-osteoporosis connection is fully clarified.

In the meantime, physicians suggests that you continue taking an antidepressant if you already use one; depression is a serious illness that can have profound consequences. You may also want to talk to your doctor about getting a bone density test, and make sure you get adequate calcium.

Source: Harvard Women’s Health Watch

Depression Meds May Up Fracture Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Depression Meds May Up Fracture Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/05/30/depression-meds-may-up-fracture-risk/863.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.