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Complications could arise from long-term osteoporosis treatment

Osteoporosis
Recent research into the effects of osteoporosis treatments has lead a specialist to advise patients to see their specialist regularly.

Professor Stuart Ralston, a professor of rheumatology at Edinburgh University, has advised sufferers to have their treatment reviewed "every five years" by their specialist.

This is because preliminary research presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, suggested that long-term use of bisphosphonate treatments could increase the risk of bone abnormalities in certain people.

The drugs are commonly used to enhance bone density and reduce fracture incidence in post-menopausal women.

However, the research suggested that if they were used for four years or more, atypical fractures of the femur were more likely to occur.

Professor Ralston said: "We need to find out why this is happening; one possibility is genetic predisposition. More research needs to be done in this area."

But he added: "In the vast majority of cases of people with osteoporosis who had suffered a fracture, bisphosphonates had a positive benefit."

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Private treatment news : 14 March 2010