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Anit-depressants can deplete bones

Jul 05, 2007 02:47 PM IST India India

New Delhi: According to new studies in the Archives of Internal Medicine, anti-depressants may deplete bones. As per this recent study, which was conducted over a period of five years on more than 5,000 people of the age of 50 and older, daily use of anti-depressants like Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) may actually double the risk of fractures. “SSRI’s inhibit the Serotonin protein thereby raising serotinin levels in the brain. They have recently been found in bones, which might actually be reducing bone density,” says Orthopaedician, Dr Ambrish Mittal. In addition to this, a study conducted at the Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland between 2000 and 2002 studied 5,995 men of 65 and older that showed similar outcome. The result showed 3.9 per cent lower bone density among SSRI users than among men who didn't use any antidepressants. “3.9 per cent is not huge figure but it can’t be ignored. It has to be taken into account because even two per cent changes increase a risk of fracture especially for elderly persons with osteoporosis,” adds Dr Mittal. Fifty-six-year-old Krishna Tiwari has been on SSRI’s to treat depression since the last 10 years has been complaining of pain in his knee joints since the last two years. “I didn't know that anti-depressants could weaken my bones but I will ask my doctor now,” says Tiwari. People taking anti-depressants must check with their psychiatrist whether they are at risk. The other option would be to get a bone density test done.