Rare Fractures Could Increase Due To Osteoporosis Treatment

New studies into the effects of osteoporosis drugs have discovered that the risk of rare fractures is increased due to the ingredients in the treatments. The bisphosphonates, which include alendronate, ibandronate and zoledronic acid, all work by reducing the rate of bone loss. These work to combat the effects of the bone thinning disease osteoporosis, a condition particularly prevalent in older women, but these treatments may actually increase the risk of bone breakage rather than lower the risk.

The study involved 4300 women, who all used bisphosphonates during the study period which lasted six years. Those who took the treatments for more than five years were twice as likely to develop fractures or breaks in the thigh bone. The number of cases in which this bone is broken are few and far between, generally only occurring after a trauma or violent injury, such as a car accident. Many drugs are known to offer both help and harm, but while the treatments for osteoporosis can help to prevent fractures in the hip, wrist and spine, they can increase the risk of fractures in the thigh if used for a long period of time. Bone is an active tissue and as old cells die, new ones are created. The ingredients in bisphosphonates help to balance the restoration of the bone structure, but this can also create a different dynamic to the formation of the bone.

There are other elements which up the risk of bone thinning too, including family history of the condition, age, medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, smoking and being of Caucasian or Asian descent. If you’re concerned that you might be at risk, speak to your GP who can ascertain whether you need to be on any kind of treatment, or advise you of ways you may be able to reduce your risk.

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