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Fosamax And Eye Diseases Linked For Users Of Oral Bisphosphonates

Fosamax and eye diseases have been linked for first-time users of oral bisphosphonates. Oral bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax and Actonel, are the class of drug most commonly prescribed to prevent or slow osteoporosis.

Previous studies have linked bisphosphonates to unusual fractures, irregular heartbeat and esophageal and colon cancer.

Fosamax and eye diseases such as anterior uveitis and scleritis that can cause serious vision impairment and even blindness have now been linked in a study published in the April 2, 2012 Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

In this study, Canadian researchers compared nearly 11,000 first-time users of oral bisphosphonates against more than 920,000 non-users. First-time users had incidence rates as follows:

  • 29 per 10,000 person-years for uveitis vs 20 for non-users
  • 63 per 10,000 person-years for scleritis vs 36 for non-users

Per-person years are determined by multiplying the number of participants by the number of years the drugs are taken.

In a journal news release, Dr. Mahyar Etminan, of the Child and Family Research Institute and the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia stated "We found that first-time users of bisphosphonates are at an increased risk of scleritis and uveitis." Dr. Etminan and his colleagues added:

"Our study highlights the need for clinicians to inform their patients about the signs and symptoms of scleritis and uveitis, so that prompt treatment may be sought and further complications averted."

As the incidence of osteoporosis increases with our aging populations, some health practitioners are now paying greater attention to non-prescription osteoporosis treatment that avoids the risks posed by bisphosphonates.

Programs consisting of the proper intake of calcium and magnesium combined with sufficient vitamin D, vitamin K2 and strontium are known to increase bone quality as well as bone density without the serious side effects posed by prescription medication.