Current Osteoporosis Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 303–311 | Cite as

Brains, Bones, and Aging: Psychotropic Medications and Bone Health Among Older Adults

Epidemiology and Pathophysiology (RA Adler, Section Editor)


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.


Epidemiology Aging Psychiatry Polypharmacy Medications Osteoporosis 


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Community HealthVirginia Commonwealth University School of MedicineRichmondUSA

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