Patients with osteoporosis got some good news at a recent conference when the results of a study showed that taking the drug denosumab can help increase bone density and keep their rate of fractures at a low level.
The study, which applies particularly to postmenopausal women was presented at the ICE/ENDO 2014, the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago. “This study provides reassurance to physicians and their patients that long-term treatment with denosumab for at least 8 years leads to significant increases in bone density and is safe for appropriately selected women with postmenopausal women,” E. Michael Lewicki, MD, the study’s lead author said.
Lewiecki, who also serves as a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque added, “It’s important to note that the overall risk of side effects did not increase over time.”
For most patients with osteoporosis their bones become weak so that something as simple as a cough can cause them to break so medications and other treatments that help fight fractures have become increasingly important. Lewicki said the results of his study showed that the medication was safe and helped keep fracture levels low for the patients.
Results of the study showed that in a field of almost 8000 women denosumab cut the risk of vertebral fractures by 68%. That was slightly higher than the risk of hip fracture, which was reduced by 40% and the risk of nonvertebral fractures which was cut by 20%. Over the course of 8 years, of the 3000 women who took part in the longer study bone density increased by 18.4% at the lumbar spine and 8.3% at the hip with few fractures and what Lewiecki described as a good safety profile.
The study was supported by Amgen Inc.