nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Osteoporosis Drugs And Risk Of Fractures

 

Osteoporosis drugs are supposed to strengthen bone, not increase risk of fracture, right?

Well, concerns about a set of unusual hip fractures in women taking bisphosphonates for osteoporosis can't be validated...for now.

The study, published online in the New England Journal of Medicine,  lumped together patients (14K) from three studies who were taking Fosamax or Reclast.

Prior to this there have been a number of case studies that suggested long-term use of the drugs could cause two kinds of hip fracture. 

This study found that these fractures were very rare, even in patients on the medicine for 10 years, and couldn't establish a significant link between the drugs and the fractures.

Onion Peelers:  The statistical relative hazard ranged around 1.0, meaning that there was no increased hazard.  But, there was a whopping confidence interval for each drug that ranged from 0.06 to 16,46.  That means that we can say with 95% confidence that the relative hazard was somewhere between 0.06 and 16.46.  That means taking the medicine could be very much less hazardous or very much more hazardous.  Clearly, that doesn't make any sense, and only proves the authors' comment that this study doesn't definitively answer the question.

Bottom line, keep taking your osteoporosis drugs if your doctor recommends them, and stay tuned for further research.

 

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