Annual treatment with Zoledronic acid significantly reduces bone fractures
May 3, 2007 - 4:09:22 AM

Data published in this week’s issue of The New England Journal of Medicine show that a once-yearly treatment significantly reduced the incidence of all types of osteoporotic bone fractures over three years in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. The publication marks the first time that an osteoporosis treatment significantly reduced all types of fractures in a single study.

The Phase III clinical study involved more than 7,700 women between the ages of 65 and 89 in 27 countries. All women involved in the study had postmenopausal osteoporosis and received zoledronic acid Injection or placebo. Results from the study show that Zoledronic acid reduced the frequency of fractures among the areas of the body that are typically affected by osteoporosis, including the hip, spine, and wrist. Specifically, a 70 percent reduction was achieved in spine fractures. The risk of hip fractures, which are associated with significant mortality, was reduced by 41 percent.

The National Osteoporosis Society of UK welcomes this forthcoming and exciting new treatment. This drug is not yet licensed for use in the UK, but when available, it will add to the choice of drug treatments available for people at risk of breaking a bone due to osteoporosis. However, patient safety is paramount and, as with any new drug to market, its safety profile will need to be fully assessed.

Zoledronic acid is one of the bisphosphonate drugs. Oral bisphosphonates can be difficult to take properly and can cause side effects. If not taken correctly these drugs will be less effective. An annual intravenous preparation may prove to be a convenient, cost effective strategy, providing that any potential problems in arranging the administration of the treatment are overcome.

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