Antidepressants Put Elderly at Fracture Risk

Study May Lead to Additional Screenings, Precautions

The study may encourage physicians who treat older depression patients to think about ways to minimize the chances of fractures by lessening the effects of osteoporosis.

This could include encouraging a diet high in vitamin D and calcium, as well as safeguarding against falls in general.

"It would probably be prudent before a patient starts treatment with SSRIs that they have their bone density measured," Goltzman said. "This is especially true if the patient has already had a low-trauma clinical fracture."

Goltzman added that the study is a first step, and further research is needed before any conclusions about treatment of these patients are made. But for now, he said, physicians and patients can take precautions.

"I would hope that doctors, after reading this study, would be very aware of the probability of an increased risk of fractures in their patients when they take SSRIs," he said.

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