Quoted from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-22/bone-drugs-by-merck-roche-novartis-add-leg-fractures-in-study.html
Bone Drugs by Merck, Roche, Novartis May Add Leg Fractures
By Tom Randall - Feb 22, 2011 4:06 PM ET
Drugs made by Merck & Co., Roche Holding AG and Novartis AG designed to prevent bone breaks in older women may actually increase the risk of a rare form of leg fractures, a study found.
Women ages 68 and older who took the medicines, called bisphosphonates, for five years or more were 2.7 times more likely to be hospitalized for fractures in part of the thigh bone, according to the study, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The bone breaks, known as atypical femur fractures, are rare and the risk is outweighed by the benefits of the drugs for most patients, researchers said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October changed the warnings on the drug labels for bisphosphonates and notified patients and doctors of an increased risk of the rare bone breaks. The agency continues to study the breaks, which account for less than one percent of hip and femur fractures overall, according to the FDA’s website.