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Depression drugs linked to falls in elderly

Monday, January 23, 2012
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: antidepressants, falls, elderly

(NaturalNews) Falls are the leading cause of accidental death in the elderly population of adults over 65 years of age. A recent study found that elderly people who suffer from dementia are more likely to suffer falls if they are given anti-depressants.

Selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are frequently prescribed to dementia patients, who often also experience depression. The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reported that the risk of elderly injuring themselves from falls was TRIPLED after they were given SSRIs. This class of drugs includes the popular depression drugs Prozac and Paxil, which have long been considered first-line therapy for treatment of depression in older adults.

The high risk of falls following treatment with older anti-depressant medications is well established, as these drugs have long been shown to cause unpleasant and dangerous side effects in elderly such as dizziness and unsteadiness.

Although the medical industry and Big Pharma made claims that the newer SSRI-type anti-depressant drugs would likely reduce these dangerous consequences, the latest research from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam appears to show the reverse.

The clear link between popular anti-depressants and increased risk for falls in elderly

The study recorded the daily anti-depressant drug use and records of falls in 248 nursing home residents over a two-year period of time. The average age of the residents was 82 and the records suggested that 152 of them had suffered a total of 683 falls.

The consequences of these falls were relatively high, with 220 falls resulting in injuries such as hip fractures and other broken bones. One resident died following a fall. The risk of having an injury-causing fall was three times higher in residents taking commonly prescribed SSRIs compared with those not taking the drug, and this risk rose even further if the patient was given sedative drugs as well.

Dr. Carolyn Sterke, the doctor who recorded the study, said that physicians should be cautious in prescribing SSRIs to older people with dementia even at low doses. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that many doctors will heed such a warning. It is a lot more likely that the medical industry will continue pushing these anti-depressants on elderly patients despite the fact that these drugs are doing elderly patients much more harm than good.

Anti-depressants have a history of making things worse

Up to one in 10 elderly primary care patients in the United States suffers from depression. This means that thousands of Americans are being affected by these potentially harmful anti-depressants and are at increased risk for falls that lead to injuries and deaths.

This is not the first time that conclusive research has revealed the danger of anti-depressant usage in the senior population. A study done in 2007 which appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that elderly patients taking SSRIs were likely doubling their risk of fractures from falls.

When the 2007 study first came out, a geriatrician and associate professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center admitted that there has not been very much research done on the effect of many drugs on bone formation, which is also true of SSRIs.

In general, SSRI anti-depressants are also known to cause long-term side effects. These include but aren't limited to sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, epilepsy or epileptic seizures, tardive dyskinesia/dystonia (a mostly permanent severe body movement disorder), Parkinsonism (a sign of future Parkinson's disease) and Akathisia (a neurologically driven severe manic agitation that can lead to suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, self-harm & suicide). It is well documented in medical literature that these neuroleptic induced side-effects can be attributed to various forms of brain damage. (http://www.antidepressantsfacts.com/LongTermSSRI.htm)

The side-effects of popular anti-depressants can take many forms because these drugs can cause some very severe neurological and physical damage, often either as a result of prolonged inhibition of liver-enzymes or impaired serotonin metabolism.

Alternative treatment for depression doesn't cause deadly falls or negative side effects

Elderly patients suffering from depression shouldn't have to choose between their mental health and their hips and other bones. There are much safer ways to treat depression that are in no way associated with increased risk of falls or fractures.

There are a great many natural alternatives to SSRIs and other dangerous prescription drugs that have been proven to be effective in managing depression. To name only a few examples: counseling, supportive care, regular exercise, sunshine exposure, music therapy, diet changes and mood-boosting herbs such as St. John's Wort.

Read more about treating depression naturally with NO DRUGS whatsoever here: http://www.naturalnews.com/029310_depression_remedies.html

Read about the top 5 foods for beating depression naturally: http://www.naturalnews.com/020611.html





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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose descendents include Africans and American Indians. He self-identifies as being of American Indian heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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