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Pre-menopausal women should avoid bisphosphonate drugs

Filed October 5th, 2012 Joshua Sophy

Women who haven’t yet entered menopause should avoid taking drugs like Fosamax, Boniva, and Actonel because they’re more likely to experience dangerous side effects than see any benefits.

That’s the message from Consumer Reports magazine’s medical experts in its ‘Ask the Pharmacist’ column in a recent edition of the publication. Bisphosphonate drugs prescribed to women with osteopenia (commonly referred to as pre-menopause) have no benefit, the experts say. There is no published clinical data that shows women in pre-menopause would get any benefits from taking these bisphosphonate drugs.

While menopausal women could expect to see moderate help in the prevention of bone loss caused by osteoporosis, those who haven’t entered menopause do not enjoy those same benefits, more of their dangerous side effects instead.

Taking bisphosphonate drugs for long periods of time or at high doses will increase a person’s chance of developing atypical fractures of the thigh bone. The drugs turn the femur bone porous, the opposite of the drug’s intent for menopausal women. This increases the risk of this fracture occurring, an injury that will require surgery and extensive physical rehabilitation.

Doctors and patients are being warned to avoid taking bisphosphonate drugs if they’re pre-menopausal and any future prescriptions should be carefully considered before they’re written.

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