Thursday, September 08, 2011

5 Years Enough for Use of Fosamax and Other Bisphosphonates?

Yes, according to the Food and Drug Administration staff report.
Most women who take bone-building drugs like Fosamax can safely stop taking them after five years, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday in a staff report leading up to a broad safety review scheduled Friday by two scientific advisory committees.

Studies show that the drugs do have proven benefits in preventing osteoporosis fractures for the first three years of treatment, but continuing beyond five years does not demonstrate such benefits over no drug use at all, the report said. And women who stop taking the drugs after five years have similar levels of increased bone density and reduced fracture risk as those who continue taking them, it said.

“These results suggest no significant advantage of continuing drug therapy beyond 5 years,” according to agency’s 45-page review of scientific evidence.

As for side effects, the report said, there is no solid evidence the drugs, called bisphosphonates, cause unusual breaks of the femur bone, a jaw injury called osteonecrosis, or esophageal cancer. At the same time, the agency said, those rare but dangerous outcomes cannot be ruled out because it has been so difficult to study them for various reasons.

“The safety of long-term bisphosphonate therapy continues to be unclear as study results are conflicting,” according to the F.D.A. report.
Well, the jury is still out on the use of these drugs and the complications associated with them.

More independent study and evaluation should be conducted AND soon.

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