Psychotropic medication tied to fracture risk

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  • A large population cohort shows an increased risk for fracture in patients taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), antipsychotics, and benzodiazepines.

Why this matters

  • The study suggests that psychotropic medication use is a risk factor for fractures.

Study design

  • The researchers analyzed data from 68,730 individuals (62,275 women; age, 40 y and older) who underwent a baseline bone mineral density assessment between January 1, 1996 and March 28, 2013. Fracture risk was assessed on March 28, 2013.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • 18.9% of participants had mental disorders, and 17.4% used psychotropic medications.
  • Risk for nontraumatic major osteoporotic fractures was heightened in those taking SSRIs (adjusted HR [aHR], 1.47), antipsychotics (aHR, 1.48), and benzodiazepines (aHR, 1.16).
  • Hip fracture risks was also heightened in SSRI use (aHR, 1.51), antipsychotics (aHR, 2.18), and benzodiazepines (aHR, 1.23).


  • The study cannot prove causation.
  • The study applies best to older people who are considered at risk for osteoporosis.