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FDA Analysis Question Long-Term Bisphosphonate Use

Filed May 10th, 2012 Laurie

A new Food and Drug Administration analysis published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday found little if any benefit from the use of popular bone-building drugs called bisphosphonates after three to five years of use. The analysis suggested caution in patients using the drugs long-term, but stopped short of issuing specific recommendations.

Recent debate over the effectiveness of bisphosphonates in women who use them over the course of several years prompted the FDA’s review. Popular bisphosphonate drugs include Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, and Reclast. Doctors and researchers are concerned that after years of use, bisphosphonates may actually lead to weaker bones in some women, in rare cases.

Weaker bones could equal adverse events for women, including unusual femur fractures.

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