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Psychotropic Medications Can Increase Fracture Risk in Older Patients

Posted Oct 02 2008 6:15pm

A study published in the August 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology examined the link between taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs),  benzodiazepines, and antipsychotics, and increased risk of fracture in older individuals.  Manitoba-based administrative databases were used to examine psychotropic medication use and fractures in persons aged 50 years and older between 1996 and 200.  A sample of 15,792 patients with osteoporotic fractures (vertebral, wrist, or hip) were compared with 47,289 age, sex, and diagnosis matched controls. The different medications examined included antidepressants, antipsychotics, lithium, and benzodiazepines. The results showed that taking SSRI medication was associated with the highest risk of developing osteoporotic fractures. Other types of antidepressant medication  were also associated with greater fracture risk, although the relationship was weaker. Treatment with lithium was associated with lower fracture risk while treatment with antipsychotic medication was not found to be a significant factor.  The authors conclude SSRIs and benzodiazepines appear to have a dose-specific relationship with fracture risk in the elderly which needs to be taken into consideration when the medication is prescribed for geriatric disorders.

Click here for the abstract.


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