Saturday, September 4, 2010

More Potential Concerns for Osteoporosis Drugs

We've been concerned about osteoporosis drugs in dentistry for a few years now.It seems that a rare condition called ONJ (osteonecrosis of the jaw) tends to show up in individuals who have been taking drugs to help battle osteoporosis.  While ONJ is not a pleasant condition, it has been considered a necessary risk since broken bones and broken joints can be so debilitating to those who suffer them.  Plus, ONJ is a relatively rare occurrence, statistically speaking.

The dental regimen so far has been to check patients taking these meds very carefully and refer if any symptoms of ONJ are detected.

Now, there comes news of another impact potentially from these medications.  WebMD is reporting of an increased incidence of esophageal cancer.

While the risk is very small, I feel it is something other practitioners and patients need to be aware of.  It is important to remember that every medication has risks and these risks must be evaluated by the doctor and the patient.  As I stated above, fractures from osteoporosis can be life changing events that can lead to disability among other things, so by no means should someone stop taking these medications based on a very small potential risk.  Instead, a discussion with your doctor is in order.

For all the info from WebMD, you can read the article here.

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