Navigation Links
Nitroglycerin Ointment Might Strengthen Bones
Date:2/22/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Nitroglycerin ointment, usually prescribed to relieve chest pain, may also counter bone loss, a new study suggests.

As the population ages, the number of women with osteoporosis is increasing. Nitroglycerin appears to increase bone density and prevent bone loss, and it may have advantages over newer and more costly drugs, the researchers noted.

"Nitrates are widely available and inexpensive," said lead researcher Dr. Sophie A. Jamal, an assistant professor of medicine at Women's College Research Institute and University of Toronto. "Our study demonstrates that nitrates are able to increase bone size and strength, which may reduce the incidence of fractures worldwide."

However, whether or not this treatment actually reduces fractures is unknown. "These are promising early findings. Further, larger studies need to be done to confirm our findings and to determine if nitrates can reduce fractures," Jamal said.

The treatment seems to work by producing nitric oxide, which may aid in stimulating bone growth, the researchers noted. The report is published in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For the study, Jamal's team randomly assigned 243 postmenopausal women to nightly doses of nitroglycerin ointment or placebo. The ointment was spread on a one-inch strip on the upper arm.

To test the effectiveness of the treatment, the researchers measured bone density at the spine, thigh and hip. The trial ran for two years.

Compared with women receiving a placebo, women who received nitroglycerin ointment had a 6.7 percent increase in bone density in the spine, a 6.2 percent increase in the hip and a 7 percent increase at the top of the thigh bone, the researchers found.

The most common side effect of the nitroglycerin ointment was headache. Among those receiving the ointment, 35 percent reported headaches, compared with 5.4 percent among women receiving placebo, the report indicated.

Dr. Sundeep Khosla, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and author of an accompanying journal editorial, said that "while there are a number of drugs available to prevent or treat osteoporosis, most work to prevent further breakdown of bone, rather than build new bone."

However, nitroglycerin can actually stimulate the formation of new bone, he added. "Here's a drug that's been in use for decades to treat chest pain due to angina, that prevents bone loss and increases bone mass," he said.

Khosla thinks these findings are promising, but a large-scale study looking at whether the treatment prevents fractures is needed before nitroglycerin ointment can be recommended as a standard treatment.

"There are a lot of steps between what this study has shown before patients should ask for it or doctors should prescribe it specifically for osteoporosis," he said.

The study was funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Physicians' Services Incorporated.

Nitroglycerin ointment is fairly inexpensive and depends on how much one buys. For example, 30 grams of nitroglycerin ointment costs about $30 and that's good for about 2,000 applications at the dose used in the study.

Another report in the same journal found that older women taking drugs called bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax or Boniva, to prevent bone loss were at risk for rare fractures of their thigh bone.

This finding has been shown before and caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start monitoring these rare fractures.

The risk appeared highest among women taking the drugs for five years or more. However, the absolute risk is very small and these drugs do prevent more common types of fractures, according to study author Dr. Laura Y. Park-Wyllie, of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

"These findings also highlight the need for a thoughtful assessment of individual risk of fracture when considering extended bisphosphonate therapy, and that long-term use of these drugs may warrant reconsideration, especially in patients at relatively low risk of fracture. It may be appropriate to consider a drug holiday for selected patients, particularly as the cumulative duration of bisphosphonate therapy surpasses five years," Park-Wyllie and colleagues wrote.

However, they added that their study "confirms the known benefits of bisphosphonate treatment for typical osteoporotic fracture, and evidence suggests that bisphosphonate therapies are underused in individuals at high risk of fracture despite their established efficacy."

More information

For more information on osteoporosis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Sophie A. Jamal, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, Women's College Research Institute and University of Toronto, Canada; Sundeep Khosla, M.D., professor of medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Feb. 23, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Hayes Announces Appointment Of Dr Susan Levine To The Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC)
2. B2B Appointment Setting/Lead Generation Innovator Intelemark Opens New Office in Northeast
3. Vermillion Announces the Appointment of Carl Severinghaus to Board of Directors
4. Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation President and CEO Charles Lyons Welcomes the Appointment of Anthony Lake as New Executive Director of UNICEF
5. Medefield Announces Executive Appointments to Lead Its US and UK Businesses
6. Tax Return Appointment Fees to be Donated to Charity by Tax Team Canada
7. MedTouch Makes Senior Staff Appointment
8. Herpes Drug Might Also Slow HIV Progression
9. Bonding Hormone Might Help Some With Autism
10. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
11. Bilingualism Might Begin in the Womb
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nitroglycerin Ointment Might Strengthen Bones 
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... Soriant recognizes that identifying savings ... Healthcare facilities across the country are always forced to focus on costs ... across the country, an efficient and quick way to estimate savings potential within ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , ... March 22, 2017 , ... ... to cure Rett Syndrome, a devastating neurological disorder that afflicts 350,000 individuals worldwide. ... on the X chromosome, and almost exclusively strikes females. Following a normal ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... March 22, 2017 , ... Last ... according to a US Department of Agriculture report. While excess dairy can be ... play a role. Lactose sensitivity is the inability to properly digest lactose, a sugar ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... The Tyler Hitchcock ... to communities across eastern Texas, is announcing a charity drive in conjunction with ... children and adults. , Consistently a top-rated nonprofit organization for hunger relief, ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... ... and financial planning assistance to communities throughout central Ohio, is initiating a charity ... Estimates from the Department of Defense and the Veteran's Brain Injury Center conclude ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Pharmaceutical Packaging ... over the next decade to reach approximately $129.81 billion by 2025. ... for all the given segments on global as well as regional ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... -- Piramal Pharma Solutions (PPS), a leading ... event to introduce the new and expanded manufacturing capabilities ... . The inaugural event was attended by Governor ... and Piramal Pharma Solutions CEO, Vivek Sharma . ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Mass. , March 22, 2017 Hologic, ... it has completed the acquisition of Cynosure, Inc., a ... per share in cash. "We are pleased ... to working with Michael Davin and the ... the large, rapidly growing medical aesthetics market," said ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: