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FDA Panel to Take up Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva Safety Issues

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On September 9, an advisory panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet to discuss the safety of drugs used to treat osteoporosis. The panel will discuss the drugs Actonel, Boniva and Fosamax, which have been linked to thigh fracture and jawbone death when taken for a long period of time, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

Each drug belongs to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates.

In October 2010, the FDA issued a warning saying there was a possible risk of thigh bone fracture in those taking bisphosphonates to treat osteoporosis. The agency updated the medication’s labels to reflect the warning and advised physicians to evaluate patients taking the drug for longer than five years.

Ever since, the agency has maintained it is not certain bisphosphonates are the cause of the fractures. Nonetheless, there have been at least 300 reports of bone fractures in patients taking the drugs for longer than five years.

Over 5 million Americans use bisphosphonates, which have been shown to increase bone mass and stop or slow the progression of osteoporosis, says Newswires.

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