The osteoporosis drugs called bisphosphonates have been controversial because of reports that they are linked to unusual complications such as jaw bone death and atypical thigh fractures. Other side effects include severe heartburn, joint or muscle pain and possibly even an increased risk for esophageal cancer.
There is now some good news about bisphosphonates, in particular one called Actonel. Canadian researchers searched a large database of cancer patients in the province of Manitoba. It found that women taking Actonel had a 45 percent lower likelihood of being diagnosed with colon cancer. Although this is an observational study rather than a randomized controlled trial, it does offer some optimism about this class of medications.
[Cancer, online August 5, 2011]

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  1. beau10
    Reply

    The article states “Actonel” essentially lowers the risk of being diagnosed with colon cancer, but what about its adverse osteoporosistic effect? If its negative side effects are the same as those listed in the article, what is the overall benefit? It appears “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t”.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: ACTONEL IS USED TO TREAT OSTEOPOROSIS. THE PROBLEM IS WITH THE UNCOMMON BUT SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS MENTIONED.

  2. cpmt
    Reply

    I don’t know but a few months ago I receive an email from FDA saying that this medicine can produce some types of cancer and other serious side effects. May be we should check this out carefully.

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