Got Bones? » September 2006

September 26, 2006

Osteoporosis Fracture Risk Formula

Australian researchers have developed a formula for predicting fracture risk in women with osteoporosis. One surprising thing they found that fracture risk increased with body weight, contradicting previous studies that indicated lower body weight put women at higher risk for fractures.

The score successfully predicted 75% of fractures that occurred over two years of follow-up with 68% specificity, said Margaret Joy Henry, BSc, Ph.D., of the University of Melbourne in the October issue of Radiology.

Risk Score Predicts Fracture for Osteoporotic Women

'Magic formula' accurately predicts fracture risk in osteoporotic women

Posted by Staff at 9:20 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2006

Bisphosphonates and Skeletal Microdamage

Something your doctor probably doesn't mention when prescribing bisphosphonates such as Fosamax and Boniva is the skeletal microdamage that can occur in your bones during treatment. Skeletal microdamage is microcracks in the bone. Because of this, many researchers have wondered about the longterm safety of bisphosphonate therapy.

A new study says that most of the microdamage happens in the first year of treatment.

Researchers found there was no increase in vertebral microcracks after 3 years of alendronate treatment in comparison to the beagles treated for 1 year. These results suggest that microcrack accumulation is greatest during the early course of alendronate treatment. This is an encouraging sign for long-term safety of these drugs.

The study authors are Dr. Matt R. Allen and Dr. David B. Burr from the Indiana University School of Medicine. Both doctors have received financial support from Eli Lilly, Procter & Gamble, Merck, and Amgen. Dr. Burr holds stock in Pfizer and Amgen and has been a consultant for Eli Lilly, Procter & Gamble, and Amgen.

Now let me get this straight: a drug that is supposed to prevent fractures actually causes fractures the first year of treatment, but it's okay because most of the microdamage only happens during the first year of treatment? This same class of drugs that is also associated with rotting of the jaw and severe bone pain? And we're supposed to accept that these drugs are safe from the mouths of researchers who are paid by the drug companies that sell them and who hold stock in some of the companies?

Think of it this way: thousands of postmenopausal women are given bisphosphonates as a preventative measure, even when their bone density tests are normal. That means people with perfectly normal skeletons are now going to have microcracks in their skeletons. It's really unbelievable.

For more information on the bisphosphonate controversy, check out our bisphosphonate timeline or the fosamax side effects page.

Skeletal Microdamage Stable After First Year, Study Shows

Posted by Tracy at 10:00 AM | Comments (2)

September 17, 2006

Reclast - the Once a Year Bisphosphonate

Reclast, the latest osteoporosis drug that may be coming to market in 2007 will be a once-a-year treatment. Basically, you are given a massive "infusion" in one sitting. These drug companies keep trying to one-up each other. Boniva is trying to one-up Fosamax by putting out a once-a-month pill and now Novartis is going for once-a-year. What's next - once a lifetime? Let's go even further - how about never?

Why doesn't the Washington Post mention that it is a bisphosphonate and will carry the same risks as other bisphosphonates?

Reclast, given as an annual 15-minute infusion, reduced risk of new spine fractures by 70 percent and hip fractures by 40 percent, according to data supplied by the maker, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. The drug, chemically known as zoledronic acid, also reduced the risk of fractures elsewhere, according to a just-completed international study of 7,736 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis Drug Shown to Cut Fractures

Posted by Tracy at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

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