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Osteoporosis drugs 'linked to slight chance of jaw disease'

Osteoporosis drugs 'linked to slight chance of jaw disease'
15th February 2011

Osteoporosis patients, who may use palliative care due to their condition, are being prescribed a drug that has been linked with a low risk of a serious jaw disease.

Findings, published in the Journal of Dental Research, found that oral bisphosphonates are associated with a slightly higher risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw.

Jeffrey Fellows, researcher with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, said there is an elevated risk of around one-tenth of one per cent of developing the condition.

Dr Michael Herson, of Northwest Permanente Medical Group, who was not involved in the study, said that if patients have any questions about taking the medication, they should consult their physicians.

"These drugs are very helpful in treating osteoporosis and preventing fractures so for the large majority of patients the benefits of taking them far outweigh the small risk found in this study," he said.

Meanwhile, research published in BMJ Quality and Safety, found that medicine administered to those who have chosen to find a care home is more likely to be accurate if taken in pill form.

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