Antidepressants are often prescribed to help women with fluctuating moods during the menopause. A recent study says this could result in a 76% higher risk of bone breakage.
This risk appears to last for several years after the women take the drugs. This discovery has prompted a call for doctors to reduce the time period for which they are prescribed.
The menopause typically triggers mood changes, which can result in depression. Every year thousands of women are prescribed SSRIs – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, common forms of antidepressants. As well as helping with mood, these drugs are often prescribed to help with other symptoms too, such as hot flushes and night sweats.
It is estimated that last year 30 million prescriptions for SSRIs were given out in England, costing £74 million. While we don’t know how many of these were for menopausal women, it is thought that doctors prefer to prescribe antidepressants over hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This is because…