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Home Industry News Bisphosphonates ‘could be damaging bones instead of strengthening them’

Bisphosphonates ‘could be damaging bones instead of strengthening them’

7th March 2017

Bisphosphonates could be weakening the bones of osteoporosis patients further, rather than helping to strengthen them as intended, a new study has warned.

Researchers from Imperial College London used the Diamond Light Source particle accelerator to analyse hip bone samples taken from 16 patients aged between 60 and 90 with the condition following a fracture, prior to joint replacement. Eight had been prescribed bisphosphonates.

Analysis of these samples showed that there were 24 percent more microcracks in the bones of those who had taken bisphosphonates compared to those who had not been prescribed the drugs.

What's more, the bones of patients who had been taking the medication were found to be 33 percent weaker overall and, on average, had 54 percent more microcracks than healthy bone samples.

Lead researcher Dr Richard Abel summarised: "This research suggests that, in a small number of patients, rather than protecting against fractures, bisphosphonates may actually make bones more fragile. We now urgently need larger studies to confirm this finding."

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