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DOWN SIDE OF BONE DRUG

ANCHOR LEAD: THE OSTEOPOROSIS MEDICATION ALENDRONATE MAY HAVE A DOWN SIDE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Could a common drug used to prevent osteoporosis actually cause the condition?  A very small, but disturbing report in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine seems to suggest the answer may be yes, at least for a subset of people taking the medication.  Michelle Bellantoni, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.

BELLANTONI:  These 15 women were taking oral alendronate for a period of years.  It is possible that for these individuals the usual dosing of this drug or the duration of this drug caused a suppression of bone remodeling.  More research is needed in this area to see whether markers of bone turnover could be used to guide the duration or the dose of therapy and whether there’s a role for vitamin D and calcium to prevent this type of fracture.                   :28

Bellantoni says those taking alendronate right now shouldn’t stop, but talk with their care provider about dosage and duration.  I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.

 


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