Antidepressive agents are one of the fastest-growing classes of prescribed drugs. However, the effects of antidepressive agents on bone density are controversial. The aim of this meta-analysis is to evaluate the state of research on the relationship between the use of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and bone mineral density (BMD) in women. The database searched was Pubmed. The meta-analysis included human studies in women fulfilling the following criteria: (i) an assessment of bone mineral density in the lumbar spine, the femoral neck or the total hip; (ii) a comparison of the BMD of depressed individuals using antidepressive agents (SSRIs or TCAs), and a control group that did not use antidepressive agents; (iii) measurement of BMD using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA); and (iv) calculations of the mean BMD and standard deviation or standard error. Four studies were identified, which, in total, included 934 women using antidepressive agents and 5767 non-using individuals. The results showed that no significant negative composite weighted mean effect sizes were identified for the comparisons between SSRI users and non-users. Similarly, no significant negative composite weighted mean effect sizes were identified for the comparisons between TCA users and non-users, indicating similar BMD in SSRI or TCA users and non-users. The meta-analysis shows that the association between antidepressant medication and bone mineral density has not been extensively researched. Only four studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The global result of the literature review and meta-analysis was that the use of antidepressive agents was not associated with lower or higher BMD. This result applies to both SSRIs and TCAs and to all measurement locations (lumbar spine, femoral neck and total hip).
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