Anti-depressants often help people regulate their mood, ease various symptoms and get through the day. But a recent study has shown that taking anti-depressants while you’re going through menopause may increase your risk of ending up with a good number of broken bones.
The research, carried out by MD Matthew Miller, a professor over at the Northeastern University (Boston), the Department of Health Science, in association with his colleagues his colleagues, stresses that certain anti-depressants damage a woman’s long term health if taken during menopause as the effect they have on bone density will last for years to come.
Elective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) in particular have been identified as the culprits that increase the number of bone fractures for women going through menopause may experience. Elective serotonin reuptake inhibitors based medications include Celexa, Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro, Luvox, Sarafem and Zoloft.
SSRI meds are efficient in battling depression, moodiness and irritability as they serve their purpose by affecting serotonin levels, a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) in the brain.
The danger is very real, as these drugs are given to patients to treat not just depression, but also as a substitute or an alternative for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) due to their ability to keep hot flashes and night sweats in check.
Dr. Miller wrote a statement with his team, saying that “We find that SSRIs are associated with higher risks of fractures, an effect that first became evident several months after treatment initiation. Our finding suggests that, if feasible, shorter duration of treatment might mitigate the risk of developing excess fractures”.
They went on to add that their results are not yet definitive as they have not yet tested to see whether or not the same association persists if the patient only takes a low dose of SSRI.
For their study, polished earlier this month, on June 25, 2015, in the journal Injury Prevention, the researchers looked at data collected on over 137.000 women with the age between 40 and 64, and identified as starting SSRI treatment sometime between the years of 1998 and 2010.
They also picked out a control group of 236.000 women who had been given indigestion medications instead rather than SSRI.
The results showed that women in the SSRI group had 76 percent (76%) more of a chance of ending up with bone fractures after only a year of being on the treatment, 73 percent (73%) more of a chance after two (2) years of being on the treatment, 67 percent (67%) more of a chance after five (5) years of being on the treatment.
Dr. Caroline Messer, an endocrinologist over at Lenox Hill Hospital (New York City) has a working theory. She says that the SSRI might be activating osteoclasts, which are cells that break down bone.
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