While exercise and a healthy diet are recommended to help stave off bone loss, many at high risk of developing osteoporosis must supplement their diets with a bisphosphonate drug such as Fosamax. Recently, according to an article published on Reuters Health, researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that many patients do not comply with regular dosing.
For those at high risk of developing osteoporosis, taking Fosamax or another bisphosphonate can cut the yearly fracture risk from five percent down to three percent, the article states. But, some people stop taking the medication.
“It’s the problem with all chronic conditions,” said Dr. Daniel Solomon, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Drugs for asymptomatic chronic conditions are universally poorly adhered to.”
Doctors Work With Patients to Encourage Compliance
Dr. Solomon and his colleagues worked with 2,000 Medicare recipients with osteoporosis. They divided them into two groups: one that received fall prevention and other lifestyle tips in the mail from researchers, and another that were also given eight counseling sessions over the phone. All the patients were receiving their drugs via the Medicare prescription plan at a low co-pay. After one year, the researchers found little difference between the two groups. The patients who received the additional counseling filled their prescriptions 49 percent of the time; the ones that didn’t filled their prescriptions 41 percent of the time. The difference is negligible, but patients in both groups claimed they didn’t take their medication because “they had forgotten about it, didn’t like the way it made them feel or didn’t think they needed it.”
Dr. Solomon concluded, “It would be overstating the data to say that we should use this. What I’m saying is you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” he said. “I think that counseling is something we need to continue to examine. Researchers have been experimenting with a lot of ways to get people to take their drugs, including beeping pill caps and financial incentives, [b]ut the results have often been disappointing. At this point there really aren’t any proven interventions,” he said.
The findings were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Osteoporosis Patients Should Consult a Physician About Fosamax
Despite its side effects, Fosamax could help those who are at high risk of suffering bone loss. Only a qualified medical professional can advise whether osteoporosis can be treated without medication. It is important to weigh the risks and benefits of a drug like Fosamax in order to determine whether it is right for you.
RLG Represents Injured Fosamax Users
If you have been taking Fosamax for an extended period of time and have suffered a femur fracture, it could be because of the medication, and you might be eligible for compensation by filing a femur fracture lawsuit against Merck. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group can help. Our lawyers have over 25 years of collective experience advocating for clients in consumer product injury and mass tort cases. Please fill out our confidential contact form, or call us at 1-877-332-2347, and one of our lawyers will be in touch.
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