FDA Alert: Osteoporosis Meds and Pain

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • Please read this alert if you are taking any of the following medications: Actonel, Actonel+Ca, Aredia, Boniva, Didronel, Fosamax, Fosamax+D, Reclast, Skelid, and Zometa. These medications are bisphosphonates and they inhibit the release of calcium from bones. They may be prescribed for osteoporosis, Paget's disease and multiple myeloma (a type of bone marrow cancer).

    Today the FDA released this Medical Product Safety Alert: “FDA is highlighting the possibility of severe and sometimes incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle (musculoskeletal) pain in patients taking bisphosphonates. Although severe musculoskeletal pain is included in the prescribing information for all bisphosphonates, the association between bisphosphonates and severe musculoskeletal pain may be overlooked by healthcare professionals, delaying diagnosis, prolonging pain and/or impairment, and necessitating the use of analgesics.
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    “The severe musculoskeletal pain may occur within days, months, or years after starting a bisphosphonate. Some patients have reported complete relief of symptoms after discontinuing the bisphosphonate, whereas others have reported slow or incomplete resolution. The risk factors for and incidence of severe musculoskeletal pain associated with bisphosphonates are unknown.”

    If you have severe musculoskeletal pain that started or significantly worsened after you began taking one of these drugs, check with your doctor as soon as possible. For more information, read the full FDA Alert.

Published On: January 07, 2008