Does Fosamax/actonel/boniva Cause Bone Spur Growth?

Question

Asked by airy

Does Fosamax/actonel/boniva Cause Bone Spur Growth?

What affect do these drugs have on existing bone spurs? It seems that a drug designed to increase bone mass wouldn't be able to avoid also stimulating unwanted osteophytes (bone spurs). The vertebral bone spurs are a major cause of low back pain in people with osteoarthritis. Could the widespread joint pain that some people experience on these drugs be related to stimulation of osteophyte bone cells? And are osteophyte cells and normal bone cells the same?

Answer

Hi airy, welcome to the community and thanks for your question. Bisphosphonates maybe used for OA, because of the effect they have on bone and the remoldeling process. These drugs slow subchondral bone remodeling which is important in osteophyte production. Here's a link about it, from the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2008. Also see the article: "The Effect of Alendronate on Progression of Spinal Osteophytes and Disc-Space Narrowing (T Neogi, et al)." referenced at the bottom of the page. You can read the abstract of it but not the entire article.

Good luck and if you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.

Answered by Pam Flores