Study Links Some Osteoporosis Medications to Rare Thigh FracturesWritten by Laura Miller | May 05, 2011
Biophosphonates, which is included in such medications as Actonel and Zometa, are often prescribed to prevent and treat osteoporosis, but new research shows that it could be associated with an increased risk of a rare femoral shaft fracture, according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers reviewed 1,234 radiographs from women who suffered from subtrochanteric or shaft fracture and identified 59 patients with atypical fractures. These patients were compared with 263 control patients who had ordinary subtrochanteric or shaft fractures.
The study reported 78 percent of the case patients and 10 percent of the controls received biophosphates. Researchers determined the risk was independent of coexisting conditions and concurrent use of other drugs, and a longer duration of use was associated with an increased risk.
After the drug was withdrawn, the risk decreased by 70 percent every year. Even though a high percentage of patients with atypical fractures received bisphosphonates, researchers concluded the absolute risk of developing these fractures is relatively small.
Read the abstract about biophosphonates for osteoporosis.
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