Osteoporosis Drug Complications Lead to New Labeling

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011, 7:46 pm

Osteoporosis drugs such as Fosamax, Boniva and Reclast will be required to clarify how long patients should use them to avoid potential complications. The drugs called bisphosphonates are prescribed for patients with osteoporosis and low-bone mass that is considered a precursor to  osteoporosis. The drugs stop and reverse the thinning of the bones that comes with the disease.

Keeping bone mass intact and bones strong is important in preventing hip and spine fractures that cause pain, hospitalization, nursing home stays and even early death for many older Americans. A few patients have suffered from complications after taking these osteoporosis drugs including unusual fractures of the thigh bones, cancer of the esophagus and deterioration of the jawbone. These complications generally have occurred after several years of taking the drugs.

The staff of the Food and Drug Administration reviewed studies and reported that the data seemed to show “no further increase in fracture benefit after three to four years of therapy.” They also noted that destruction of the jaw is more prevalent with four or more years of use. Exact wording for the new labels and product inserts will be decided in the future and the recommendations may vary for each drug.

Remember to talk to your doctor about any drugs that you may be taking for an extended period of time. Here at Wilbanks Smile Center we do need to keep abreast of all of the drugs you have been prescribed, especially those for osteoporosis, so we can keep an eye on the health of your jaw. Let us know if there have been any changes to your prescriptions each time you visit. Please contact us at 706-886-9439 today to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to seeing you!

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Category: oral health


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