Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Popular Osteoporosis Drugs Triple Risk Of Painful Bone Necrosis, Study Finds

Date:
January 15, 2008
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
A popular class of osteoporosis drugs nearly triples the risk of developing bone necrosis, a condition that can lead to disfigurement and incapacitating pain. The research is the largest study of bone necrosis and bisphosphonates, a class of drugs used by millions of women worldwide to help prevent bone fractures due to osteoporosis. It is also the first study to explore the link between bone necrosis and specific brands of bisphosphonates, such as Actonel, Didrocal and Fosamax.

A University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute study has found that a popular class of osteoporosis drugs nearly triples the risk of developing bone necrosis, a condition that can lead to disfigurement and incapacitating pain.

Related Articles


The research is the largest study of bone necrosis and bisphosphonates, a class of drugs used by millions of women worldwide to help prevent bone fractures due to osteoporosis. It is also the first study to explore the link between bone necrosis and specific brands of bisphosphonates, such as Actonel, Didrocal and Fosamax. Researchers found that all three brands had similar outcomes.

Bone necrosis, a relatively rare disease diagnosed in approximately 1 in 20,000 people per year, leads to permanent loss of blood supply to the bones. Without adequate blood supply, the bone tissue dies and causes the bone to collapse. The disease primarily affects shoulders, knees and hips at the joints, causing severe pain and immobility.

Published online by the Journal of Rheumatology, the findings follow a recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration alert about bisphosphonates that highlighted the possibility of severe and sometimes incapacitating bone, joint and/or muscle pain in patients taking the drugs.

According to the American Dental Association, more than 190 million prescriptions have been written for bisphosphonates worldwide. The drugs are promoted in direct-to-consumer advertisements on U.S. television stations.

"The message for women taking these medications is to pay attention to your pain," said principal investigator Dr. Mahyar Etminan of the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation at UBC and VCHRI. "Given the widespread use of these drugs, it is important that women and their doctors know the risks that come with taking them."

Etminan cautions that bisphosphonate use may increase in the future as the possible link between estrogen use and breast cancer prompts women to switch from estrogen therapy to bisphosphonate therapy to prevent osteoporotic bone fractures. Another reason may be the availability of new bisphosphonates that come in once-a-month or once-a-year doses.

The epidemiological study, a collaboration between UBC, VCHRI and McGill University, is based on the health records of 88,000 Quebec residents from 1996 to 2003. The team undertook the research after academic papers began linking necrosis of the jaw with the use of bisphosphonates.

"This is particularly important work," said Dr. John Esdaile, professor and head, Rheumatology, UBC and scientific director, Arthritis Research Centre of Canada located at VCHRI's Centre for Hip Health.

"Although the osteonecrosis side-effect is rare, the use of the bisphosphonates is very common," Esdaile adds. "People taking bisphosphonates are now hearing about the potential side-effects, and this study result will permit physicians to better inform them what the order of magnitude of the risk may be."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Popular Osteoporosis Drugs Triple Risk Of Painful Bone Necrosis, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115092048.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2008, January 15). Popular Osteoporosis Drugs Triple Risk Of Painful Bone Necrosis, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115092048.htm
University of British Columbia. "Popular Osteoporosis Drugs Triple Risk Of Painful Bone Necrosis, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115092048.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) A newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise, protecting against diabetes and weight gain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to reach your health goals this season, there are a few simple tips to help you spring clean your space and improve your nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the skinny on keeping a healthy home. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins