The commercials for bone-density and osteoporosis medicines have gotten really appealing. Most of them show attractive older women doing active
things, jogging, gardening, exercising -- and the message we get is that the medicine has helped their bone density. Sally Field is a spokeswoman for one of the medicines, and talks about how not only has the medicine stopped her bone loss, it has started to rebuild it.
The commercials have made me wonder if women who don't even have osteoporosis would benefit -- after all, none of our bones at 50 or 60 have the same strength that we had at 25, so wouldn't it help us to be rebuilding them now, before we get older?
But as with so many things, the answer is no. There are risks and side effects associated with any medicine, and these are no different. Just recently, a study of research on these medicines found that they raise a person's risk of a serious cardiac side effect -- atrial fibrillation, or an erratic heart rhythm that could cause blood clots, which in turn can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Here's a link to the Washington Post story on the research findings:
And here's a link to the FDA's ongoing safety review:
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