September 13, 2005

Fracture Risk Higher with Some Antipsychotics?

A new study suggests that people taking Risperidone may have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than olanzapine, however this is early information from only one study, so the information needs to be validated with studies from other universities.

In this study that has been recently announced "They therefore compared bone mineral density in female premenopausal patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia who were receiving either risperidone (n=12) or olanzapine (n=14). Results showed that patients taking risperidone had higher serum prolactin levels than olanzapine-treated individuals, at 123 ng/ml versus 25.9 ng/ml" (PsychiatryMatters.MD). This study was done on females with schizophrenia, probably because woman are at higher risk for osteoporosis.

The researchers also did an ultrasound to measure the bone speed of sound and found that it was lower for those taking risperidone than it was for those taking olanzapine. They found that there was a high bone turnover rate for those taking risperdal. Having a high bone turnover rate can lead to a fragility fracture. Having a lower bone mineral density can also lead to more fragile bones and eventually to osteoporosis.

For women taking risperdal the risk of a fragility fracture was 1.78 when they measured the risk at the phalanx (bones of the the fingers and toes, excluding the big toe and thumb). The risk was at 1.23 when it was measured at the radius which is the bone in the forearm that is on the same side as your thumb. These measures are both in comparison to those who were taking olanzapine.

Original Source: Fracture risk greater with risperidone than olanzapine. PsychiatryMatters.MD.

This research article was published in J Clin Psychiatry 2003; 64: 761-766.


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