The Pill Box: Bisphosphonates

Good for the bones…and maybe safe for the heart after all.

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Bisphosphonates are widely prescribed to build bone mass and decrease the risk of fracture in women with osteoporosis. So in 2007 when the New England Journal of Medicine published a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials connecting bisphosphonate use with increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), women and their physicians sat up and took notice. So did the FDA, which immediately conducted a review of all clinical trial data that had led to this conclusion. One year later, the FDA published a statement saying no clear association between bisphosphonate use and AF, regardless of dosage or length of exposure, could be confirmed.
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