Long-term use of common osteoporosis drugs can lead to a reduction in bone quality, a new study has found.
Bisphosphonate treatments have been proved to enhance bone density and reduce the incidence of fractures in post-menopausal women.
However, a new study by The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found when used over four or more years, the treatment can adversely affect bone quality and increase the risk of femur fractures.
Reacting to the claims, Stuart Ralston, Arthritis Research UK professor of rheumatology at Edinburgh University and an expert in bone diseases, said that these effects had come to light over the last two years.
"It appears to be more common in people with osteopenia - lower than normal bone density often seen as [a] precursor to osteoporosis - rather than severe osteoporosis and only seems to affect some people," he said.
Professor Ralston said more research was needed in the area, and recommended that patients receiving this treatment be reviewed by a specialist every five years.
Almost three million people in the UK are estimated to have osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Society.
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