The Food and Drug Administration is considering a safety review of certain bone-building drugs called bisphosphonates to see if they actually increase the risk of femur fractures. Research shows that the drugs, such as Fosamax and Boniva, can make bones brittle after long-term use.
Two new studies have found that the bones of post-menopausal women who take Actonel, Boniva, Fosamax, and Reclast to prevent osteoporosis may become brittle if medication use exceeds five years. Though the drugs are initially effective in slowing bone loss, bone density scans showed weakening in the femur portion of the hip after long-term use of bisphosphonates.
Osteoporosis is a major health problem – 10 million Americans have the disease and another 34 million have low bone mass. Bisphosphonates are among the best selling drugs in the country, with annual sales that exceed $3.5 billion.