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November 8, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
With the launch of the first prescription osteoporosis medication 15 years ago, millions of Americans with the bone-thinning disease began taking the drugs and never looked back. But now many bone-health doctors are looking back and becoming increasingly uneasy. In the last few years, evidence has emerged that long-term use of osteoporosis drugs ? particularly the oldest class of drugs, the bisphosphonates ? may do more harm than good. Some doctors are starting to tell at least some of their patients to stop taking the drugs for a time ?
September 13, 2010 | Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon, The People's Pharmacy
Dozens of drugs can weaken bones. Oral corticosteroids such as prednisone are especially problematic when used for long periods of time. Even inhaled steroids (Advair, Flovent, Symbicort, etc.) may pose problems over time. People with osteoporosis should work closely with a doctor to develop a treatment strategy. I have taken prednisone for years due to an arthritic condition. Because of stomach upset, my doctor has prescribed Nexium to prevent an ulcer. I was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis and wonder what can be done to counteract the bone-damaging effects of my medicine.
July 29, 2010
Millions of post-menopausal women take calcium supplements in an effort to stave off osteoporosis, but recent studies have shown that the pills provide little benefit: Even though they may increase bone density, they do not reduce the risk of fractures or of death. Now, some researchers are becoming convinced that the supplements not only provide no benefit, but that they can even be harmful, increasing the risk of heart attacks by nearly a third. The results, experts all agree, do not apply to calcium ingested in food, which is beneficial.
October 20, 2009 | Associated Press
THOUSAND OAKS -- Amgen Inc. said today the Food and Drug Administration wants more information about its osteoporosis treatment Prolia before granting marketing approval. It delays a drug seen as a potential blockbuster for the company. In a letter, the FDA said it wants to know how Amgen will monitor patients who use Prolia, and wants the company to develop a strategy to evaluate the risks of the drug, Amgen said. In premarket trading, Amgen shares fell $1.38, or 2.3 percent, to $59.94.
August 25, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Warner Chilcott, an Irish maker of birth-control pills and acne medicine, said it would buy Procter & Gamble Co.'s prescription-drug unit for $3.1 billion. Warner Chilcott will get products with $2.3 billion in annual sales, including Actonel for osteoporosis, and co-promotion rights to Enablex for bladder control, the companies said. Warner Chilcott shares rose the most in almost three years after the company said the deal would add to earnings right away.
August 14, 2009 | Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Biotech leader Amgen Inc. cleared a major hurdle today in its push to win approval for its experimental osteoporosis drug from the Food and Drug Administration. An FDA advisory committee said the drug, denosumab, benefits patients being treated for osteoporosis. But in a 12-3 vote, the panel did not recommend it for use as a preventive medicine for the bone-thinning disease. The FDA is scheduled to make its decision on the drug in October. It is not required to follow the committee's recommendation, but the agency usually does.
August 12, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
The first member of a new class of osteoporosis drugs reduced spinal fractures by about two-thirds in post-menopausal women and in men undergoing hormone-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, according to two studies released online today by the New England Journal of Medicine. The drug, called denosumab, is the first to block production of cells called osteoclasts that break down bones, and physicians have high hopes for it because of its efficacy, ease of administration and apparent lack of severe side effects.
August 6, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
A widely used surgical procedure in which cement is used to fortify cracks in the spine is no better than a sham operation, two groups of researchers independently reported Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings shocked clinicians because the procedure, first introduced in the early 1990s, is now widely accepted and assumed to be very effective at relieving pain and improving mobility.
April 15, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
A drug used to treat severe osteoporosis promotes healing of hard-to-mend fractures in the elderly and others, reducing pain and time spent in nursing homes, researchers said Tuesday. In preliminary studies, 93% of 145 patients who had unhealed bone fractures -- some for as long as six months -- had significant healing after only eight to 12 weeks on the drug, called teriparatide, or Forteo.
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