Last week, Good Morning America hosted a segment on spontaneous fractures with long-term use of bisphosphonates commonly used to treat osteoporosis. They implicated that these drugs taken for 7-8 years actually make bones more brittle. Here is a link to the story. But please read the following article about the FDA Task force as well. Good Morning America Story…
The FDA and the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research Subtrochanteric Femoral Fracture Task Force (read about the task force here) are convening to investigate this topic. At present these types of fractures are extremely rare and all fractures of this type are under investigation by medical specialists in this field.
When considering drug therapies for bone health, one must consider the risks and benefits. When we know that the risk for someone breaking a bone due to osteoporosis past the age of 50 is 1 out of every 2, sometimes the risks of these rare types of fracture is worth it. I am not advocating the use of drugs, I am just stating that this should be a conversation and a mutual decision by patient and physician.
On a side note, it is currently recommended that patients take a “drug holiday” occasionally when on a bisphosphonate type of drug.
We will keep looking at the research as it comes forward to make informed decisions. So, for now, let’s keep exercising, practicing balance, working on leg strength and spinal extensor strength to aid in fracture prevention and overall health and function!