Don’t expect to live longer because of your Osteoporosis Drug, is basically the findings of a new study on mortality rates and osteoporosis drug use. This study was a review of previsous published studies on the use of ostoporosis medications and mortality. The authors examined 38 studies involving clinical trials of drugs used to treat osteoporosis. 21 of the studies involved the class of drugs called bisphosphonates which are the more commonly prescribed drugs to treat osteoporosis today. The authors noted their review of the literature shows a reduced fracture risk but no reduced risk in mortality or death due to taking these drugs.
The most common class of drugs used to treat osteoporosis are called bisphosphonates. I have discussed these drugs before and the issues with them. While studies have shown taking these drugs reduce fracture risk it comes with a price. These drugs have caused atypical site fracture of bones with prolonged use. This means that the longer you take them you might have fracture a bone at a location that is not commonly seen. Dentists might not work with you while you are taking these medications because one of the atypical sites is the jaw. The trials included more than 100,000 adults with osteoporosis, with 45,594 randomized to placebo and 56,048 to treatment. There was no significant association between receiving a drug treatment for osteoporosis and overall mortality rate the researchers report.
What does this mean for you? Do not expect that by taking a drug to treat osteoporosis it will have any affect on your life span. We do know that having a fracture of one of the vertebrae of the spine due to osteoporosis does increase the risk for death. While these drugs appear to work well in reducing fracture, they don’t do it in a way that improves mortality rates. I say be proactive about your risk for osteoporosis and work well before to keep your body healthy and strong to reduce your risk for both it and any need to take a bisphosphonate. What we offer in our office can help reduce your risk for developing osteoporosis and even help reverse the bone loss seen in osteoporosis.