Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Doctors commonly recommend drug holidays, or breaks, from certain osteoporosis drugs due to the risks associated with these treatments. Yet little has been known about the ideal duration of the holidays and how best to manage patients during this time.
This popular class of medications, known as bisphosphonates, has been shown to cause fractures in the thigh bones and tissue decay in the jaw bone. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a drug holiday or break from these treatments after four to five years of bone density stability if osteoporosis is moderate and after 10 years of stability if fracture risk is high.
However, new research from Loyola University Health System reveals that patients should resume treatment if they develop a fracture, have a decline in bone strength or an early rise in signs indicative of increased fracture risk. Researchers also found that elderly patients and those with very low bone strength should be closely followed during a break from treatment. These findings were published in the latest issue of Endocrine Practice.
"This study provides some guidance about what to do during drug holidays and how long they should last," said Pauline Camacho, MD, study investigator and director of the Loyola University Osteoporosis & Metabolic Bone Disease Center. "The results highlight groups who are at risk for fractures during drug holidays and recommendations on when to resume treatment."
Loyola researchers evaluated 209 patients who started a drug holiday from bisphosphonates. Eleven patients (5.2 percent) developed fractures and all patients had a significant increase in bone-specific alkaline phosphatase at six months. This level was more pronounced in patients who developed a fracture. While there was no significant change in the bone mineral density of the lumbar spine, there was a statistically significant decline in the femoral neck bone mineral density.
"These findings will help us continue to refine the current practice of drug holidays to better manage patients with osteoporosis," Dr. Camacho said.
Maguy Chiha, MD, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Loyola University Health System; Lauren Myers, medical student, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine; Caroline Ball, MD, SSOM; and Jim Sinacore, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, SSOM, also were study investigators.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Bones / Orthopedics category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Loyola University Health System. "Guidance on drug holidays from popular osteoporosis treatments." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 17 Jan. 2014. Web.
11 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271266>
Loyola University Health System. (2014, January 17). "Guidance on drug holidays from popular osteoporosis treatments." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271266.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.