A possibility for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to increase the risk of bone fracture has been debated during recent years. Proposed causes include an ability for the drugs to reduce bone mineral density (BMD). Experimental data have identified a functional 5-HT system in bone, although its role is unclear. Results from numerous epidemiological studies are heterogeneous and several different associations have been suggested; between depression and low BMD, SSRIs and low BMD, depression and falls, SSRIs and falls, depression and fractures, and SSRIs and fractures. In this paper, we review the available data and discuss the various study results. Based on the current available data, we conclude that it is not possible to determine whether SSRIs may negatively influence bone regulation or are innocent bystanders. It is likely that only a large, prospective, long-term study designed to investigate changes in BMD will be able to answer the question. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP.
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