Navigation Links
Osteoporosis Meds Linked to Heart Problem

Bisphosphonates may up rate of serious atrial fibrillation, review finds,,,,

MONDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The popular bone-building medications known as bisphosphonates may have a rare, but serious, cardiac side effect.

A review of available research concludes that these medications may increase the risk of atrial fibrillation -- an erratic heart rhythm that can lead to blood clots that may cause heart attacks or strokes.

"In addition to possible gastrointestinal side effects, bisphosphonates can have possible cardiac side effects. For serious cases of atrial fibrillation, there was a significant increase in risk -- about 68 percent," said review lead author Dr. Jennifer Miranda, an internal medicine resident at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

But Miranda noted that the absolute risk of someone experiencing atrial fibrillation while on these medications was actually quite small, probably around 1 percent to 2 percent.

Miranda was expected to present the findings Monday at the American College of Chest Physicians annual meeting, in Philadelphia.

Bisphosphonates are a class of medications that increase bone mineral density. They are commonly prescribed to treat people with osteoporosis and also for people who have suffered hip fractures. Bisphosphonates may also be used to treat Paget's disease of bone.

This class of medications includes alendronate (Fosamax), zoledronic acid (Reclast), ibandronate (Boniva), risedronate (Actonel), and more.

Although effective, these medications can cause serious side effects in some people. Gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea can occur. Of more concern are rare side effects, such as osteonecrosis of the jaw, unusual bone fractures, and severe muscle, bone or joint pain.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the safety of bisphosphonates, but at this time doesn't recommend any changes in clinical practice.

Miranda's review focused on three studies of bisphosphonates that included data on atrial fibrillation as a side effect. Miranda said the authors reviewed 1,646 studies, but only three included information on atrial fibrillation.

All three studies were randomized, placebo-controlled studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007, and included more than 16,000 patients. The study populations were quite similar and included postmenopausal women between the ages of 69 and 75 who were taking bisphosphonates for osteoporosis.

The overall difference in incidence of atrial fibrillation wasn't statistically significant between those taking bisphosphonates and placebo. However, when the researchers looked just at serious atrial fibrillation, meaning that it was significant enough to require hospitalization or caused death, they found a 68 percent increased risk for those on bisphosphonates.

Miranda said it's not clear why bisphosphonates might increase the risk of atrial fibrillation.

Dr. Arthur Santora, executive director of clinical research at Merck Research Laboratories, said he was surprised that the current analysis only included three studies. Generally, he said, this type of research will include a dozen or more studies. Merck manufactures Fosamax.

Santora said his researchers have also done a meta-analysis to look at atrial fibrillation, but they included 40 studies, and they didn't find an increase in the risk of serious atrial fibrillation.

"Although this is something you want to track, and we do carefully track atrial fibrillation, there doesn't appear to be an increased risk when you look at the 40 studies we included in our meta-analysis," said Santora.

Santora said that if patients have any concerns about potential side effects, they should talk to their physicians about those concerns.

More information

Here's the latest from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on bisphosphonates and atrial fibrillation.

SOURCES: Jennifer Miranda, M.D., internal medicine resident, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami; Arthur Santora, M.D., executive director, clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories, Whitehouse Station, N.J.; Oct. 27, 2008, presentation, American College of Chest Physicians annual meeting, Philadelphia

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Vitamin D Added to FDA Osteoporosis Risk-Reduction Health Claim
2. Retrospective study analyzes expenses of osteoporosis-related fracture over 3 years
3. Simple ultrasound exam may predict osteoporosis risk
4. Figure Skater Peggy Fleming Teams With HealthSaver: Osteoporosis and Bone Health
5. Tufts researcher leads revision of osteoporosis guidelines
6. New study shows sedentary high school girls are at significant risk for future osteoporosis
7. Global study reveals differences in standard of care for osteoporosis across the world
8. National Osteoporosis Foundation Survey Reveals Low Awareness of Bone Health and Risk of Osteoporosis
9. Treating osteoporosis calls for physician, dentist collaboration: ADA Journal
10. Docs Issue Guideline on Screening for Osteoporosis in Men
11. Genes Linked to Osteoporosis Identified
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Osteoporosis Meds Linked to Heart Problem
(Date:11/29/2015)... Ca (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2015 , ... Khanna ... American Board of Ophthalmology on November 25th 2015. Peer Certification by the ... field of his specialty. Certification in Ophthalmology is first obtained after the completion of ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... Effective immediately, every single IguanaMed scrub style will ... Friday Target is offering a “Buy One Scrub Set, Get the 2nd Scrub Set ... purchase IguanaMed at a discounted price. , IguanaMed’s mission is to outfit ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... ... Trying to relax on a couch can actually be uncomfortable, so an ... due to personal experience with a bad back," he said. , This easy-to-use, versatile ... as increases support. It also makes it easier to eat, do other activities and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... According to an article published November 13th on, much ... revolved around the fact that proper dental care, both at-home and in the dental ... periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum disease) and diabetes. According to Dr. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... NC (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... A ... effective ways to treat it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on ... at University Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active Wound Care), Application (Surgical ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2020" report to ... --> The purpose of this report is to ... advanced wound care market. It involves deep dive analysis ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ) has ... Market by Type (Reagents & Kits, Analyzers), ... Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical Diagnostics), and ... report to their offering. --> ... the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  The American Academy of Pediatrics ... and the March of Dimes cheered today,s signature ... Infants Act of 2015 (S.799), which takes ... born exposed to drugs, such as opioids, and ... all three organizations have worked together leading advocacy ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: