Women prescribed a common class of antidepressants to ease menopausal symptoms may face a long-term rise in their risk for bone fracture, a new study suggests.
The antidepressants in question are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as Celexa, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.
Besides being used to treat depression, these drugs are often prescribed as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to combat hot flashes, night sweats, and other problems that can accompany menopause.
However, “SSRIs appear to increase fracture risk among middle-age women without psychiatric disorders,” wrote a team led by Dr. Matthew Miller of Northeastern University in Boston.
The team added that the effect seems to be “sustained over time, suggesting that shorter duration of treatment may decrease [this effect].”
Findings were published in the journal Injury Prevention.
For this study, investigators focused on data collected on more than 137,000 women between the ages of 40 and 64, all of whom began SSRI treatment at some point between 1998 and 2010.
The SSRI group was compared with more than 236,000 other women who took indigestion medications instead of an SSRI.
They found that women in the SSRI group faced a 76 percent higher risk for fracture after a single year of SSRI use, compared with the non-SSRI group.
That figure fell to 73 percent after two years and 67 percent after five years.
© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.