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Osteoporosis Drugs' Safety Subject of FDA Panel
Date:9/9/2011

atment, details of drug holidays, etc., but there is probably not enough information in the literature for recommendations based on science," Watts said.

Unusual bone problems aren't limited to patients taking bisphosphonates, another expert said. "Osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical fractures of the femur also occur in patients not taking bisphosphonates," said Dr. Silvina Levis, a professor of medicine and director of the Osteoporosis Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "These events are very rare in patients with osteoporosis, and the benefits of these drugs outweigh the risks."

Common bisphosphonates are taken in tablet form or by injection. They include: Fosamax (alendronate sodium) made by Merck & Co., Inc.; Actonel and Atelvia (risedronate sodium) made by Warner Chilcott; Boniva (ibandronate sodium) from Roche Therapeutics, Inc.; and Reclast (zoledronic acid) from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

More information

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

SOURCES: Elizabeth Shane, M.D., past president, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, endocrinologist and professor of medicine, Columbia University, New York City; Silvina Levis, M.D., professor of medicine, director, Osteoporosis Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Nelson B. Watts, M.D., director, University of Cincinnati Bone Health and Osteoporosis Center, Cincinnati, Ohio


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