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Health Team

Drug Could Strengthen Bones in Single Dose

Posted May 4, 2007

More than 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, but an experimental drug has been shown to strengthen bones in just one dose.

A New England Journal of Medicine study found that the drug zolendronic acid, or Reclast, reduced the risk of spine fracture in post-menopausal women by 70 percent, hip fracture by 41percent and all other broken bones by 25 percent.

"It's very effective, at least as effective, if not more so, than any other drug on the market today," said Dr. Felicia Cosman, an osteoporosis specialist at Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y.

Osteoporosis causes bones to lose density, making them brittle. Many drugs stop that deterioration, but they have to be taken regularly. Women often forget to take their medication or stop taking them because of side-effects.

The benefit of Reclast is that it's given only once a year, intravenously at the doctor's office, Cosman said.

"It takes 15 minutes, and then you're done," she said.

The drug is being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and, if approved, could be on the market by next year. According to doctors, side-effects appear to be minimal, with a small percentage of patients experiencing an irregular heartbeat.

3 Comments

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  • nc lover May 6, 2007

    Drink more Milk!

  • onthedot May 6, 2007

    Any drug has side-effect to the heart of any kind is NOT a good sign.

  • THE ETERNAL May 6, 2007

    DRUGS ARE NOT THE ANSWER TO ANY HEALTH PROBLEM. RAW BONE SUPPLEMENTATION AND FISH OIL IS THE ANSWER TO MOST BONE ISSUES. ONLY LOOK TO ORGANIC NATURE FOR ANSWERS. I THINK THE DRUG COMPANIES AND THEIR BOUGHT AND PAID FOR FDA HAVE TOO MUCH MONEY AND UNEARNED POWER ALREADY.