Navigation Links
Link between widely used osteoporosis drugs and heart problems probed
Date:4/6/2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. New research at Wake Forest University School of Medicine evaluated the link between a common class of drugs used to prevent bone fractures in osteoporosis patients and the development of irregular heartbeat.

The study's findings appear in the current issue of Drug Safety, a publication of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance covering the safe and proper use of medicines.

"Some trials show there could be a potential link between the use of bisphosphonates and the development of serious heart rhythm problems, but in our study the link wasn't conclusive," said Sonal Singh, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of internal medicine and lead investigator for the study. "So we urge that additional investigations be conducted."

Bisphosphonates, found in prescription drugs including BonivaTM, FosomaxTM, ReclastTM and ActonelTM, inhibit the breakdown of bones, which reduces the risk of fractures, especially those of the spine and hips in older patients. The first such drugs were approved for use in the mid-1990s.

Early studies indicated that the use of bisphosphonates might cause problems with heart rhythm, or atrial fibrillation, which increases the risk for stroke or heart attack. For the study published this month, researchers analyzed the data from previous observational studies and clinical trials to determine the link between bisphosphonate therapy and irregular heart beat.

Researchers found that bisphosphonate use was associated with a significant increase in the incidence of "serious" heart rhythm disturbances, classified by hospitalization, disability or death resulting from the condition. However, when they included "non-serious" cases in their analysis, they found no overall increased risk of atrial fibrillation, the study shows.

"Our findings were discordant, with conflicting results," Singh said. "The challenge now is to figure out what it all means."

In the clinical trials reviewed, medical records of more than 13,000 patients who had osteoporosis or fractures and were given bisphosphonates were compared to the records of more than 13,000 patients who received a placebo during study participation. Researchers were looking for the incidence of irregular heartbeat first, and then stroke or death caused by stroke or heart attack as a secondary outcome. The patient files reviewed were primarily of women who were treated with bisphosphonates and were generally in their early 70s, according to the study.

"We found no risk of stroke and cardiovascular mortality in the trials," Singh said. "That was very reassuring."

The observational studies evaluated the risk of irregular heartbeat in patients treated with bisphosphonates compared with those who had not received the drug. A review of these studies found different results. One study showed an increased risk of irregular heartbeat in patients taking the drugs and others showed no associated risk.

"The amount of data on the outcome of bisphosphonate use is insufficient to make a definitive conclusion," said Vinodh Jeevanantham, M.D., an instructor of internal medicine and co-researcher on the School of Medicine study.

The federal Food and Drug Administration called the results of the previous bisphosphonate studies "discordant" in a November 2008 update to its safety review of the drug. The agency's review of four previous trials also found no link between bisphosphonates and irregular heartbeat but suggested the need for more research.

Given these results, physicians should not change they way they prescribe the drugs for the majority of patients with osteoporosis, Singh said, and patients should not stop taking them. He cautioned, however, that patients with pre-existing heart conditions and those with risk factors for rhythm disturbance should be especially vigilant for the development of atrial fibrillation, and doctors should continue to closely monitor patients at risk for atrial fibrillation who are taking bisphosphonates.

"People who develop atrial fibrillation after using bisphosphonates should be reporting it to regulatory agencies," Singh said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wfubmc.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Comparison of obstetric outcomes between on-call and patients own obstetricians
2. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
3. New link between estrogen and breast cancer
4. Link Uncovered Between Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and NSAIDs, Says Harvard Mens Health Watch
5. Link Between Chronic Pain and Insomnia Uncovered at PAINWeek 2007
6. Scientists demonstate link between genetic variant and effectiveness of smoking cessation meds
7. Researchers discover correlation between GERD and obesity in females
8. NIH awards $10.8M to Columbia to study connection between diabetes and heart disease
9. Researchers Pinpoint Link Between Caloric Restriction and Longevity
10. Link Between Air Pollution, Stroke Gets Clearer
11. No Link Between Anti-Nausea Drug, Heart Trouble
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... , ... Water damage to the flooring of several classrooms at The Fort ... with a number of critical issues to address before students could return to classes. ... little or no disruption to class schedules. Second, the project had to comply with ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... Understanind and choosing the most appropriate instruments for research and understanding the basic ... finding. This webinar will focus on innovations in stereo microscopy for brightfield and ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... Hills, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... announced today its participation in nVerge 2017 – a one-day technology conference in San ... Altec’s document management solution, which allows users to fully utilize and enhance their Sage ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Drs. ... NY, who have now spent 10 years as clinical instructors for the reputable ... College of Dentistry. Through the program, private practitioners receive cutting-edge clinical training and ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... Patients who ... Cortland, OH, can now meet with Dr. Joseph Bedich for a consultation, with or ... simultaneously improving their oral health and functionality. , Dr. Bedich offers a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/9/2017)...  Demonstrating its commitment to representing research- based ... Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today ... now have to meet new research and development ... join PhRMA. "By putting in place ... clear message that being a member of PhRMA ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... Ore. , May 9, 2017  Semler ... that provides technology solutions to improve the clinical ... financial results for the first quarter ended March ... our products enable our customers to identify when ... to intervene before events like heart attacks or ...
(Date:5/8/2017)... 2017  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO)., has completed ... a health care service center company based in ... in relationship management programs for leading pharmaceutical manufacturers and ... WRB will join Envoy Health Management, LLC ... manufacturers, biotech firms, and other service companies. Together, WRB ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: