Antidepressants, Anti-Anxiety Drugs Causing More Hip Fractures?

Source: Wikimedia Commons and Tom Varco

Antidepressants, Anti-Anxiety Drugs Causing More Hip Fractures?

Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed. • Tue, March 28th, 2017

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New research from Norway has found that older individuals who had fallen and broken a hip used antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications more frequently than those in the general older population.

The article, entitled, “Psychotropics and weak opioid analgesics in plasma samples of older hip fracture patients–detection frequencies and consistency with drug records,” was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

The researchers examined plasma from 250 hip fracture patients over 65, using ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry to detect psychotropic drugs and weak opioids (including alcohol).

According to the March 7, 2017 news release, “The analysis measured drug levels in individuals’ blood samples, which provided investigators with a more precise measure than asking participants if they took the medications or examining their medical records. Indeed, the drugs were often present in these samples despite no information in patients’ medical records.”

“…Several of the detected drugs increase the risk of falling, which underscores the clinical relevance of these findings,” said Ragnhild Birkeland Waade of the Center for Psychopharmacology at Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Norway.

Dr. Waade, lead author of the study told OTW, “We were surprised to learn that so many patients had centrally acting drugs in their blood without doctors being aware of this use. It is important for orthopedic surgeons to be aware of the potential presence of centrally acting drugs in the patients’ blood at hospitalization as this could influence on the choice and dosing of drugs during surgery.”

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