Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Osteoporosis drug linked to irregular heart beat

I found this to be a real shocker. I don't see any reason to make any significant changes in clinical decisions -- yet. But it's fascinating that these types of adverse events can be discovered years after the introduction of a medication. And there is no clear connection between the mechanism of action of the drug and atrial fibrillation in any way. I suspect more research will be conducted to follow up on this.

From CTV News:
Women who take popular osteoporosis drug alendronate, known more commonly as Fosamax, are twice as likely to develop a common form of irregular heartbeat compared to those who have never taken it, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 700 women who had been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, in a three-year period and compared them to a control group of more than 900 randomly selected women.

They found a nearly two-fold increase in risk for developing atrial fibrillation among those women who had ever taken alendronate.

The findings were compiled by researchers from Group Health and the University of Washington by analyzing records of patients enrolled in Group Health, a Seattle-based non-profit health-care centre. The study was published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. ...more

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