“Although there have been a number of news stories suggesting a potential link between the long-term use of bisphosphonate medications (e.g. Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva and Reclast) to an unusual type of leg fracture, it is important to emphasize that many studies have confirmed the effectiveness of this medication in reducing the risk of fractures in patients with osteoporosis,“ said Robert A. Vigersky, president of The Endocrine Society.
According to the Society’s Statement, the data available at this time suggest that the potential risk of this rare leg fracture is very low (less than 1 in 10,000) and, since patients taking bisphosphonates have osteoporosis and are at high risk for suffering the more typical osteoporotic fracture, patients and their health care providers must weigh the risk-benefit of individualized ongoing therapy.
“For most patients, the benefits of bisphosphonate therapy will outweigh the potential risks of developing a rare type of femur fracture,” added Vigersky. “Patients should continue taking their medication unless advised to stop by their health care provider and should continue to pay careful attention to factors related to fall prevention.”
A special task force of The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) is examining this urgent clinical issue and will present its findings later this year. Until the ASBMR issues its report, the Society urges patients and healthcare professionals to follow the recently released guidance provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found on the FDA website.
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Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest, and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 14,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 80 countries. Together, these members represent all basic, applied, and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Md. To learn more about the Society, and the field of endocrinology, visit our web site at www.endo-society.org.