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Antidepressants Accelerate Baby Boomer Bone Breaks

Considering antidepressants affect your body in so many dangerous ways, it's no surprise they can also harm your bones.

Based on a five-year study of some 5,000 patients, those who were age 50 and older doubled their risk of broken bones when taking popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac or Zoloft, versus those who never did.

What's more, scientists said, animal research has found antidepressants may directly affect bone cells, decreasing their strength and size. Among the most common problems: Broken hips, forearms, ankles, feet and ribs. Unfortunately, the presence of depression all by itself can be a bone-breaker, stimulating the secretion of nonadrenaline that limits bone growth.

Fortunately, there are safer, healthier options available to tame your depression and strengthen your bones, like getting the right amount of vitamin D (a common problem among older adults) and exercise.

Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 167, No. 2, January 22, 2007: 188-194

USA Today January 22, 2007