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Long-term use of osteoporosis medication linked to increased risk of thigh fracture

Category: General Health

A new study has suggested that long-term use of osteoporosis medication may be associated with unusual fractures of the thigh bone.

According to the research, which was recently presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons' annual meeting in New Orleans, osteoporosis drugs, known as bisphosphonates, can initially strengthen bones, but may also contribute to brittle bone disease after a prolonged period of use.

"Bisphosphonates are a good first start," said study co-author, Melvin Rosenwasser, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "Used beyond a certain point, yet to be determined, they may actually be bad."

In the study, Rosenwasser and his colleagues monitored 112 post-menopausal women who had been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Of that group, a total of 62 respondents took bisphosphonates, while the others took calcium and vitamin D supplements only, Health Day News reports.

After four years of follow-up, the researchers evaluated each patient's bone scan and found that long-term use of osteoporosis medication was associated with a significantly increased buckling ratio, which reflects a higher risk of fracture.

Rosenwasser concluded that bisphosphonates should not be abandoned, but after a certain point of use, women should consider switching to a different kind of drug.

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