A surprising new study has found that the antidepressant Prozac increases bone mass in some mice.
"Treating animals for six weeks with Prozac resulted in an increase in trabecular bone mass," said study lead author Ricardo Battaglino, assistant member of the staff in the department of cytokine biology at the Forsyth Institute in Boston. "It was a pretty significant 60 percent increase."
The study is surprising because a previous study in children found that Prozac slowed bone growth. Also, the new study found that Prozac only built bone in mice with circulatin estrogen in their bodies.
"It looks like, to be effective in relation to bone loss, Prozac needs to be in the presence of estrogen." This has implications for women moving into menopause who lose estrogen and have an increased risk of osteoporosis.