There has been a lot of interest and concern about the recent FDA warning about bone strengthening drugs like Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Reclast and Boniva.
The Myeloma Beacon ran a reassuring article about the warnings for multiple myeloma patients taking the IV bisphosphonates Aredia and Zometa:
New FDA Warning About Bisphosphonates Does Not Apply To Multiple Myeloma
By Jessica Langholtz – Published: Oct 15, 2010
On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that long-term use of bisphosphonates for osteoporosis places patients at a possible risk for atypical thigh bone fractures. The FDA plans to add this warning to its Medication Guide and to the prescribing information for bisphosphonates approved for the treatment of osteoporosis. The warning will not apply to bisphosphonates typically used in the treatment of multiple myeloma or other cancers.
According to Dr. Craig Hofmeister of the Ohio State University Medical Center, myeloma patients taking bisphosphonates for a long time do not need to be concerned about the announcement. “While there is little data to support long-term use (more than 24 infusions in two years) of IV bisphosphonates in myeloma, these atypical femur fractures were less than 1 percent of all fractures in patients with osteoporosis whose use was more than five years.”
Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that prevent the breakdown of bone. Myeloma patients may receive bisphosphonates to decrease bone pain and prevent the development of bone fractures. Zometa (zoledronic acid) and Aredia (pamidronate) are the two bisphosphonates commonly used in multiple myeloma.
“Currently most myeloma patients treated with bisphosphonates are treated for two years, and then either the interval between treatments is extended or if they have no active disease, it will be stopped by many physicians,” said Dr. David Roodman, Director of the Myeloma Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Read more by going to: FDA Warning About Bisphosphonates. There is also a link there to the original FDA press release.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat