May 272007

Should you take drugs to treat osteoporosis?  Maybe, but…

“As you hear about new treatments for osteoporosis, question the sources of the information you receive. They may have ties to corporate interests that stand to gain by increasing women’s fears of illness and disease.”

Judy Norsigian and Heather Stephenson offer a few facts about the available drugs that you won’t hear in the glitzy commercials,

“Other medications are now prescribed more often to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis. These include the bisphosphonates known as alendronate (brand name Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel) and ibandronate (Boniva); the hormone calcitonin (Miacalcin or Fortical); and a selective estrogen receptor modulator called raloxifene (Evista).

At its best, alendronate is reported to reduce the risk of hip fracture in a relatively small group of women: those with osteoporosis who are 68 years old, on average, and at high risk of hip fracture. Only 5 in every 1,000 women in this group will have a hip fracture in a given year without taking alendronate. Taking alendronate reduces their risk by 56 percent to 2 in every 1,000.

This benefit must be weighed against the known harm, which is an increased likelihood of the rare but serious complication of jaw crumbling. The other drugs in this class, risedronate and ibandronate, are associated with the same harm.

Raloxifene increases bone mineral density. However, it has been proven to reduce only vertebral fractures, not hip fractures, and it involves risks not found in non-hormonal drugs, such as increased likelihood of blood clots, hot flashes, nausea and leg cramps. Calcitonin also has not been shown to reduce non-vertebral fractures and may cause nausea, allergic reaction and dangerously high levels of calcium.”

On the heals of the recent reports of deaths related to the HPV vaccine, and the new documentation of the link betweeen chemicals and HRT and breast cancer it is not too harsh to say that the use of women’s lives to benefit corporate coffers is clear. We need to demand the end of profiteering that endangers our lives!

 May 27, 2007  Posted by on May 27, 2007

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