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Is Paxil bad for my bones?

Paxil (paroxetine) may increase your risk for bone fractures, but more research is needed to know for sure. Paxil is an antidepressant medication that belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. SSRIs treat depression and other mental illnesses by adjusting the level of the chemical serotonin in the brain.

In epidemiological studies, which look at populations to find associations between characteristics and the incidence of disease, researchers have observed that people who are treated with certain antidepressants, including SSRIs, are more likely to experience a bone fracture. However, that finding doesn't mean that antidepressants are responsible for the increased risk. For instance, some research has also suggested that people who are depressed are more likely to have low bone density or osteoporosis (a brittle bone disease). Still, one study found a lower bone mineral density in male SSRI users than in men using other antidepressants.

Doctors need to study this possible link between thin or brittle bones and SSRIs. Until the answers are in, talk to your own doctor about your bone health and whether Paxil is right for you, as well as steps you can take to maintain strong bones.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.