Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common medicine used to combat osteoporosis can cause fractures, study finds

Date:
May 8, 2011
Source:
Linkoeping Universitet
Summary:
Bisphosphonates are a common medication used to combat osteoporosis. But they can also cause fractures, according to new research.

Bisphosphonates are a medication that has been administered since the 1990s, which reduces the overall risk of brittleness and incidence of osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates deactivate those cells used to break down bone and therefore prevent fractures caused by brittleness of the bone.

Although, for some time, there have been doubts that bisphosphonates can be the cause of other forms of fractures such as fatigue fractures, by virtue of the fact that they also inhibit natural degradation of bone. Bone is unable to be replaced and certain types of bone fissures do not heal naturally. The first results were collated during 2007.

These doubts have been confirmed by Per Aspenberg and his colleagues. They conducted a national study on 12,777 women 55 years or older. 59 of the subjects with femoral fractures were diagnosed as fatigue fractures (commonly called atypical femoral fractures). Of these 59 patients, 78 % had been administered with bisphosphonates whereas only 5% of all forms of fractures within the general population had received the same treatment.

"There is an on-going international debate, deliberating the side effects of bisphosphonates. The results from this study will probably conclude the debate," says professor Per Aspenberg. "The connection between the bisphosphonates and the fractures is so strong they we propose that a causal connection can be confirmed."

However, this study also indicates that the risk of fatigue fractures diminishes once a patient ceases to be administered bisphosphonates. Following a one-year cessation from the medication, the risk of a fracture occurring is reduced by 70 %.

"This may indicate that one should seldom administer bisphosphonates and that the medication should be concluded after several years' treatment."

However he emphasises the fact that the benefits from bisphosphonate medication greatly exceed the negatives.

"The principal effects of bisphosphonates remain: They significantly reduce the risk of fractures at the onset of osteoporosis. So even if a negative connection has been established, this relates to a very small group and minimal overall risk. Bisphosphonates prevent many more fractures than they cause. All forms of medication retain side effects and one needs to be aware of that. It is important to only use medication when needed and it should not be prescribed for healthy people."

The pharmaceutical industry has, so far, denied that bisphosphonates could retain these side effects. Several claims for damages are currently being decided upon in the US. The results of these revised findings could influence those cases.

The research behind these findings will be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Linkoeping Universitet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jφrg Schilcher, Karl Michaλlsson, Per Aspenberg. Bisphosphonate Use and Atypical Fractures of the Femoral Shaft. New England Journal of Medicine, 2011; 364 (18): 1728 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1010650

Cite This Page:

Linkoeping Universitet. "Common medicine used to combat osteoporosis can cause fractures, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505083222.htm>.
Linkoeping Universitet. (2011, May 8). Common medicine used to combat osteoporosis can cause fractures, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505083222.htm
Linkoeping Universitet. "Common medicine used to combat osteoporosis can cause fractures, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505083222.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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