Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antidepressants Linked To Bone Loss, Study Suggests

Date:
June 27, 2007
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
Two new studies suggest older men and women taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of antidepressants that includes Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, are prone to increased bone loss. The studies found that elderly men taking SSRIs had lower bone mineral density, and elderly women taking the antidepressants had a higher rate of yearly bone loss.

Two new studies suggest older men and women taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of antidepressants that includes Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, are prone to increased bone loss.

Related Articles


The jointly released studies by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University, and in San Francisco, Minneapolis, San Diego and Pittsburgh, found that elderly men taking the so-called SSRIs had lower bone mineral density, and that elderly women taking the antidepressants had a higher rate of yearly bone loss.

The studies "raise some concern about people taking SSRIs and whether they may need additional screening or extra protection for their bones," said Elizabeth Haney, M.D., assistant professor of medicine (general internal medicine and geriatrics) in the OHSU School of Medicine who led the men's study and co-authored the women's study.

But Haney cautioned the studies' results don't confirm a "cause-and-effect relationship" between SSRIs and bone loss. "Both are observational studies, so without a prospective study of this issue, we're unable to make a determination of direct causality," she said.

The studies also found that use of another popular class of antidepressant medications, known as tricyclic antidepressants or TCAs, were not associated with increased bone loss in men and women. TCAs include such drugs as amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil) and nortriptyline (Pamelor).

For the men's study, which measured total bone loss, researchers analyzed health data for 5,995 men ages 65 and older who were recruited from six regions of the United States between March 2000 and April 2002. They found that bone mineral density among SSRI users was 3.9 percent lower at the total hip and 5.9 percent lower at the lumbar spine compared with men not taking the antidepressants.

For the women's study, a longitudinal study measuring bone loss rate, researchers first examined 2,722 women ages 65 and older from four regions between 1986 and 1988, and again between 1997 and 1998. Bone mineral density in the total hip decreased .47 percent among participants who didn't use SSRIs, but .82 percent among people who did take the drugs.

Michael Bliziotes, M.D., OHSU associate professor of medicine (endocrinology, diabetes and clinical nutrition) who was senior author on the men's study and co-author on the women's study, said the research team was "surprised at the degree of difference we saw. I wasn't anticipating it would be that much."

That's because there are so many other factors that could affect bone density, the researchers said. For example, older men taking SSRIs have lower physical activity or greater intake of alcohol. And older women tend to be more depressed than men, and they lose bone density at a greater rate earlier in life due to menopause.

"One of the concerns we had was depression has its own effects on bones, so depressed people probably have lower bone density independent of their SSRI use," Bliziotes said. "Still we found that the bone density was lower in SSRI users even after controlling for as many confounding variables as we could."

Haney and Bliziotes both agree the results don't mean people taking antidepressants, even SSRIs, should stop.

"Depression is a serious condition and it's important not to stop antidepressants abruptly or without talking to your physician," Haney said. "However, it may be worth paying special attention to the things we know can prevent osteoporosis, such as exercise, taking adequate calcium and vitamin D, and it might be worth consideration of screening for low bone density."

Bliziotes added, "We don't want to leave anyone with the impression that if they're on an SSRI for a valid reason, they should go off it. They have benefits, they've been demonstrated, and people have been put on them for valid reasons, so we don't want to do anything that would jeopardize that."

Haney said future studies will continue to track bone density changes over time to help researchers determine the effects of SSRI use on markers of bone cell turnover.

The studies appear in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The studies were funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "Antidepressants Linked To Bone Loss, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070626115436.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2007, June 27). Antidepressants Linked To Bone Loss, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070626115436.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "Antidepressants Linked To Bone Loss, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070626115436.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins