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Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2012 Dec;10(4):303-11. doi: 10.1007/s11914-012-0121-4.

Brains, bones, and aging: psychotropic medications and bone health among older adults.

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Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, 23238, USA.


Psychotropic drugs are a crucial element of treatment for psychiatric disorders; however there is an established association between many classes of psychotropic medications and fracture risk among older adults, and growing evidence that some classes of medications may also impact bone mineral density (BMD). In this paper we review recent epidemiologic research on the association between psychotropic medications and osteoporosis, and discuss current controversies and unresolved issues surrounding this relationship. Key areas in need of focused inquiry include resolving whether the apparent association between psychotropic medications and BMD is due to confounding by indication, whether this relationship differs for men and women, and whether the implications of these medications for bone health vary over the life course. Clinical research to delineate the risk/benefit ratio of psychotropic medications for older adults, particularly those who are at high risk for fracture, is also needed to facilitate prescribing decisions between patients and physicians.

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