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33. The Most Dangerous Drugs for Bones

Episode Summary

The numbers are sobering: Americans filled over 5.8 billion prescriptions in 2018, and over two-thirds of those were for only two illnesses—diabetes and hypertension. But too many people, including physicians, are unaware of the damaging effects common medications have on bone, which includes causing dangerous drops in bone density and increasing fracture risk. A long list of medications cause osteoporosis, including steroids, proton pump inhibitors, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, blood thinners such as heparin, premenopausal tamoxifen use, and other medications. Here, Dr. Neustadt discusses three of the most commonly prescribed medications and what you can do if you’re taking them.

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Key Takeaways To Tune In For

  • [01:30] Common medications that have damaging effects on bones

  • [02:33] Medication that can lead to drug-induced osteoporosis 

  • [03:07] How antidepressants affect your bones 

  • [06:03] Studies linking antidepressants to increased fracture risks 

  • [07:45] In the elderly, antidepressants increase the risk of falls that can lead to hip fractures

  • [08:05] How acid-blocking medication is affecting your bones

  • [10:30] Bone loss occurs the most quickly when taking oral steroids

  • [12:05] How acid-blocking medication is affecting your bones

  • [14:00] Studies that link acid-blocking medication to increased fracture risks

  • [16:40] What you can fo if you’re on any of these medications 

  • [18:30] Tips for improving your balance and muscle strength

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