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Antidepressants 'can lead to falls'

happy pills

Psychiatric care could change in the future due to a new scientific discovery about antidepressants.

Doctors at the Department of Internal Medicine at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam found that the drugs are linked with an increased risk of patients falling over.

Tests revealed that dementia sufferers who use the average dose of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are three times more likely to hurt themselves in a fall than patients who do not use this medication.

"Our study also discovered that the risk of an injurious fall increased even more if the residents were also given hypnotic or sedative drugs as sleeping pills," said lead author Carolyn Shanty Sterke.

She added that doctors should consider all possibilities before prescribing SSRIs to older dementia sufferers.

According to the Alzheimer's Society, 64 per cent of those living in a care home have dementia, while one-third of over-95s have developed the condition.

© Adfero Ltd


Private treatment news: 21 January 2012