Antidepressant use increases hip fracture in older people

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Using antidepressants nearly doubles the risk of hip fracture in people with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers report in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

A total of 50,491 people with Alzheimer’s disease who lived in residential care were compared to 100,982 people without the disease (average age 80 years).

The increased risk of hip fracture was highest when people first starting taking antidepressants, and was still high four years later. It was associated with all of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; mirtazapine; and selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors.

Antidepressants are used to treat depression, but also chronic pain and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. The researchers suggest that if antidepressant use is necessary, the medication and its necessity should be monitored regularly. Other risk factors for falling should be carefully considered during the antidepressant treatment.

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