Strong Bones: Drug Risks

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about maintaining strong bones. For women whose bones weaken after menopause, medication can help strengthen bones. But these drugs can also increase fracture risks.

Anti-osteoporosis drugs can help stop bone loss, but some can also lead to an increased risk of thigh bone fractures. Women are 47 percent more likely to have a fractured femur if they’re taking these drugs. Dr. Khashayar Sakhaee, chief of mineral metabolism at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says these medications are generally beneficial for patients at high risk for osteoporosis-related fractures, but fracture risk may increase with long-term use. Patients using these drugs should be monitored closely. Still, the overall risk of femur fractures is quite low.  


November 2011

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