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Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The FDA has released a new warning against osteoporosis drugs, stating that many of them cause thigh bone fractures. 
According to NaturalNews, the FDA has issued a new warning for *ALL* drugs in the bisphosphonate family, including Merck's Fosamax (marketed generically as alendronate), Roche's Boniva, Novartis' Reclast and Warner Chilcott's Actonel. Why does this apply to us? If you're like my mom, then you go for bisphosphonate treatments once a month, be it Pamidronate (Aredia) or Zometa.  In a nutshell, there are two types of cells that maintain the metabolism (wearing down and growth) of our bones. Osteoclasts break down the bones and Osteoblasts build them up. In normal, healthy individuals, both are necessary and essential. However, in individuals with Multiple Myeloma, osteoclast activity is greater than that of osteoblasts, meaning that the bone is wearing down at a faster rate than it is building up. From what I know, these bisphosphonates prevent or slow down osteoclast activity, but do nothing for osteoblasts. This is all great and dandy, but when taken over time, it can cause bones to become brittle and rigid, increasing the likelihood of fractures. This is because osteoblast activity is already limited/hindered, and thus, no new bone cells are formed (instead, old ones remain). 

Back to the article...
The FDA is also requiring that consumer-friendly guides be distributed with every bisphosphonate prescription to make sure that risks are understood by those taking the drugs, and how to minimize them. Thigh fractures are a common occurrence amongst those taking bisphosphonates and come with little or no preceding trauma. They may also be followed by months of a dull, aching pain in the thigh or groin area. 
The FDA has also directed doctors to reassess whether patients should continue taking the drugs after five or more years, as they appear to offer little or no benefit after this time (but, with an increasing rate of fractures), according to Felicia Cosman of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. 
You can read the entire article HERE

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