Saturday, September 01, 2007

Annual Osteoporosis Treatment Approved

news you may not knowWho Has The Time?

Poor Sally Field. What's to become of her now that her Boniva monthly dosing is so old school, so insanely frequent, so absolutely intrusive. After all, who has time to set aside time one day each month to take their osteoporosis medication? Hmm...

The FDA has given approval to Reclast, a once a year treatment for osteoporosis. Reclast is in the same class of drugs, bisphosphonates, as are its competitors, Fosamax, Boniva, and Actonel. Unlike these oral medications, Reclast is administered once each year by means of a 15-minute infusion.

Is this good news?

On the surface, it appears so. In a company-sponsored study, Reclast reduced the risk of spine fracture by 70%, at least 20% better than its oral counterparts. Physicians also point to the once per year dosing as a major advantage. Patients sometimes forget to take the oral medications and, as a result, their effectiveness is diminished. But...

The study also revealed that patients taking Reclast have an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. This is a condition in which the heart beats abnormally, and it places patients at a higher risk of stroke. Novartis, the manufacturer of Reclast, suggests the increased risk of atrial fibrillation is not associated with Reclast. Nevertheless, it's a piece of the puzzle to consider.

What's to become of Sally Field? Well, unfortunately, she's had to trim back her appearances quite drastically in recent months. It appears the strain of taking that Boniva tablet once each and every month has simply worn her down...

To read more about the study and the FDA approval, see this from Reuters. To learn more about osteoporosis, including prevention and treatment, see this from the National Osteoporosis Foundation.


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