There have been reports in the media recently about a new study highlighting that patients taking drugs like alendronate for osteoporosis might weaken rather than strengthen bones. The National Osteoporosis Society, with our expert clinical advisers, has produced a response to this so that people with the condition can make an informed decision about their treatment. Radio 4’s The Today Programme and Inside Health have both covered this issue, and as a charity we have received calls from people with osteoporosis asking about treatments.
Juliet Compston, Emeritus Professor of Bone Medicine at the University of Cambridge and a member of the National Osteoporosis Society’s Clinical & Scientific Committee, said that although the study was interesting, it was a very small sample and the early findings need to be confirmed by further research. She emphasised anyone taking bisphosphonates should not stop taking their medication as a result of the study.
“While the data should stimulate further studies they do not provide sufficient evidence to change clinical practice and people at high risk of fracture should be reassured that the benefits of treatment, at least up to five years, and probably up to 10, outweigh the risks.”