Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dangerous Osteoporosis Drugs

The FDA releases a quarterly newsletter known as the FDA Drug Safety Newsletter. This newsletter gives information about problems with approved drugs. The latest newsletter (Vol. 2, N. 2, 2009) was recently released.

This newsletter provided information about Zoledronic acid, marketed as Reclast and Zometa which are bisphosphonate drugs used to treat osteoporosis. These drugs have been approved for once-yearly intravenous administration infusion for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal men and women.

This article reported that there have been 24 cases of renal failure associated with the use of Reclast. The median time form the onset of renal failure from the infusion until the event was 11 days. Seven deaths were reported and three patients required dialysis from the drug.

Due to this problem with Reclast, FDA encouraged physicians to avoid the use of Reclast in patients with renal impairment, ensure patients are well hydrated, and report cases of renal problems to the FDA.

I say the FDA should have included one other point; pull the drug from the market. I wrote about the problems with the osteoporotic drugs in Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do. Why does Reclast cause this problem? All of the bisphosphonate drugs, Reclast included, are toxic substances to the body. They work by poisoning one of the main bone-building cells in the body—the osteoclasts. Furthermore, the half-life of these drugs is much too long. That is why you can give this drug once/year. The body has no way to detoxify from it. Remember, you can’t poison an enzyme for the long term and expect a good result.

I say, eat a better diet, exercise, drink water and take the appropriate supplements you are lacking. That is a much more effective and safer approach for treating osteoporosis.


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