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News2012February › 'New generation' antidepressants triple the risk of a fall in elderly › February 2012

'New generation' antidepressants triple the risk of a fall in elderly

Antidepressants - and especially the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) - are a major cause of falls in the elderly, say researchers

Antidepressants - and especially the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) - are a major cause of falls in the elderly, say researchers.
The drugs triple the risk of a fall that results in injury, especially among elderly patients in care homes, say researchers from the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam.
Older generations of antidepressants are known to increase the risk of falls, but manufacturers were hopeful that the SSRIs would reduce the problem.
However, say the researchers, the new SSRIs seem to increase the risk further. In an analysis of 248 falls, the researchers discovered that 152 care home residents had suffered a total of 683 falls between them, and the risk tripled among those given an SSRI. The risk increased further if the patient was also given a sedative.
(Source: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 2012; doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04124.x).


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