Monday, August 20, 2007


Will Sally Fields jump ship from Boniva to Reclast? Maybe Meryl Streep or Susan Sarandon will be signed on instead.

The FDA just approved this once-a-year treatment for osteoporosis. One fifteen minute IV infusion, and your bones are set against untimely fractures for 12 months. A trial on more than 7,700 women of age found that Reclast decreased vertebral fracture risk by 70%.

What creeps me out, however, is the possibility that this drug, like it's chemical cousin Zolmeta which is also delivered by IV infusion, will increase risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw. This condition occurs rarely in patients who have received bisphosphonates, particularly by IV, and then undergo dental procedures. It causes dead bone in the mouth, resulting in the horrific sort of scenario that both fascinated and repelled those of us who flipped through medical textbooks when young. Also the sort of scenario that attracts personal injury lawyers.

I have no idea whatsoever if this drug is associated with ONJ. I am reluctant, however, to recommend IV drugs for osteoporosis prevention or treatment for this reason.


KGMom said...

I just read a recent article that track use of these drugs (not Reclast but older ones) to calcifications in the body.
Have you encountered such studies?

Mauigirl said...

I would be wary of something that lasts a whole year - if you're taking a pill and something starts going wrong, you can stop taking it.

Femail doc said...

MG: That's why getting a shot always creeps me out. Not the needle, not the pain, but the irreversibility of medicine into muscle.

30 years from Darling said...

I was given one of the weekly meds because of my history of prednisone use and history of a long standing eating disorder. I reacted so badly to it after just one pill, we stopped it ..but it took 4 days for the symptoms to stop.

Everytime I see the Reclast commercial I freak out!!