During menopause, women are usually prescribed an SSRI – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which helps relief some of the symptoms of menopause. These drugs are extremely popular, being regarded as the third most commonly prescribed drug in these cases.
Among the symptoms that the drug aims to relief there are the irritable bowel syndrome, the night sweats and the hot flushes that women usually get. Because they are so efficient, SSRIs are regarded as better options than HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
The researchers who carried out the study published in the online journal Injury Prevention said that they decided to do it because they noticed that people who suffered from psychiatric disorders were more likely to suffer from bone fractures.
This is why they believed a connection might exist between antidepressants and an increased likelihood for women to break their bones easier once they reach menopause.
In order to carry out the research, the experts looked at the data containing information on medical treatment for 61 million patients in various medical centers in the United States. The data was provided by PharMetrics Claims Database.
However, the target were 137,031 women who had not suffered from any mental illnesses since they were 40 years old until they reached 64. Between 1998 and 2010 they began treatment with SSRIs such as hyrdrobromide, fluoxetine hyrdrochloride, citalopram, fluvoxamine maleate, escitalopram oxalate sertraline hydrochloride and paroxetine hydrochloride.
Their data was compared to that of 236,294 women who were about the same age and were being treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 antagonists.
It was revealed that the women who took SSRIs had a 76 percent higher chance of suffering from bone fractures. Moreover, this risk seems to last for many years after women start taking the medicine, as the risk was still 73 percent higher two years after the first administration and 67 percent higher after five years, according to the authors of the study.
Therefore, hormone replacement therapy might be the better option for women who are experiencing symptoms associated with menopause.
Neverthelss, there are some limitations to the research, given the fact that the study is mainly based on statistics. Even so, there is other research in the field that shows this theory might test out.
Basically, these antidepressants could affect the way bones grow and cause them to become thinner and less strong, thus, more exposed to breakage.
Image Source: Gizmag