Drugs used to promote bone health may have reverse effect - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/10/10

Bisphosphonates drugs promote bone health but for some, it may have reverse effect

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – This has to be disheartening news to so many patients trying something new for bone health, but Wednesday, a class of drugs designed to make strong bones is under fire.  There's evidence that in some cases these drugs can actually have the opposite effect. 

The list includes Fosamax, Acontonel and Boniva, which are all widely used to prevent bone loss.  Several large studies have shown they work in building bones and cutting the risk of fractures. 

Now two small studies presented at a meeting of orthopedic surgeons suggest that in a small portion of patients who use the drugs for more than five years, some people, for some reason, end up with a rare kind of hip fracture.  Dr. Ethel Siris, at the New York Presbyterian Columbia Hospital, says don't stop taking the drugs if you're using them.

"The data suggesting risks associated with these drugs recently is still very, very preliminary and a lot of other data, long term data suggests that these drugs are really quite safe in the overwhelming majority of people who take them," said Dr. Siris.

The FDA says it is reviewing all the studies, but for now, patients taking any of those bone building drugs should continue unless their doctor advises them to stop.

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