May 24, 2011
Take a Break: Doctors rethinking long-term use of osteoporosis drugs
Bone experts are reconsidering their treatment methods for osteoporosis patients based on new research linking frequently prescribed bisphosphonate medications to rare, but severe, leg fractures.
Bisphosphonates, which include Fosamax and other generic versions, are a class of drugs prescribed to help osteoporosis patients develop and maintain bone strength and density.
In October, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the potential risk of femur fractures from taking bisphosphonates over an extended period of time. A Swedish study released last week in the New England Journal of Medicine advised intermittent use of these drugs in order to reduce the risk of fracture.
Based on this information, some doctors are encouraging patients to take a break from bisphosphonates after using the medication for two to three years. However, patients should not discontinue taking or change their prescribed dosage without consulting a physician first.
Motley Rice lawyers are currently litigating cases involving the bisphosphonate drug Fosamax after atypically high numbers of women who took these drugs suffered serious injuries including femur fractures.
Read the full article on bisphosphonate research in USA Today
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