A new study indicates that zoledronic acid -sold as Reclast in the U.S. - increased bone mass in the spine more than risedrontate - brand name Actonel - for patients who have osteoporosis caused by long-term steroid use (known at GIO, glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis). Actonel is a bisphosphonate drug taken as a daily pill, while Reclast, though also a bisphosphonate, is given as a once-a-year infusion. Reclast is currently approved by the FDA for use in postmenopausal osteoporosis and its manufacturer, Novartis, is seeking the agency's indication for its use in the treatment of GIO. (To read more about this, check out this informative article in the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120812528978711293.html?mod=googlenews_wsj)
This news serves as an important reminder to long-term steroid patients about the importance of safeguarding one's bone health, since steroid use is a leading cause of secondary osteoporosis. A serious discussion with one's doctor is in order regarding the possibility of a DXA bone scan and measures to treat (or hopefully, prevent) bone loss.
Prescription medication may be just one potential piece of the puzzle to help prevent osteoporosis fractures.
Published On: April 16, 2008