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Osteoporosis Drugs Linked to Heart Risk

Sarah Kim3 years ago

According to Medscape, authors of a new study state that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should revisit its findings regarding osteoporosis drugs.

Study Links Biophsophates to Atrial-Fibrillation

Data from 9 studies reveal that both oral and IV biophosphates, which reduce morbidity and mortality, are connected to an increased risk of atrial-fibrillation (AF). The meta-analysis was published online March 15, 2014, in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Lead author Dr Abhishek Sharma of Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York said this meta-analysis suggests that biophosphates should be continued as a first-line therapy for osteoporosis and osteopenia, “but we should be very careful in selecting our patients.”

For example, Dr. Sharma suggests that patients with a history of cardiac events should be closely monitored for any signs of adverse effects. Osteoporosis and osteopenia affect more than 40 million Americans.

Contradictory Results

In 2008, the FDA reviewed data from clinical trials of 19,687 patients receiving bisphosphonates, and 18,358 patients receiving placebo. The results suggested that there was no significant risk of AF associated with the drugs.

But more recent studies suggested that the use of bisphosphonates was linked with a greater risk of AF, requiring hospitalization. Previous studies that examined oral and IV bisphosphonates separately have also reported contradictory findings.

Most recently, researchers reviewed the data of published studies and discovered that there was an increased relative risk of AF with both types of bisphosphonates, although the risk was greater with the IV format


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