Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Osteoporosis Health Center

Font Size

Once-Yearly Drug Prevents Fractures

Reclast for Osteoporosis: One 15-Minute Infusion per Year


Women tolerated the annual 15-minute infusions very well. After the infusion, about 14% of patients had some symptoms of what doctors call an acute phase reaction. They felt as though they had a mild viral infection, with low-grade fever, muscle and joint aches, and/or headache. In no case did this last longer than three days, Cosman says.

Women who took Reclast also had a significantly higher rate of serious atrial fibrillation -- a dangerous, abnormal heart rhythm. This happened to 50 of the 3,889 women who received the drug.

Black, Cosman, and colleagues report their findings in the May 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. An editorial by Juliet Compston, MD, professor of bone medicine at the University of Cambridge, England, accompanies the study.

Compston says that Reclast will be appropriate for any woman whose bone density puts her at high risk of fracture.

"We have an exciting new option which is at least as effective as other options in reducing fractures," Compston tells WebMD. "It has something which many will see as an advantage: It has to be taken only once a year -- although the intravenous infusion will be a consideration for some. It is a new first-line treatment for osteoporosis."

The FDA currently approves Reclast for the treatment of Paget's disease, a metabolic bone disorder. Novartis Pharmaceutical's application to approve Reclast for postmenopausal osteoporosis is currently under FDA review. Novartis funded the Black study.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Women working out and walking with weights
Reduce bone loss and build stronger muscles.
Chinese cabbage
Calcium-rich foods to add to your diet.
woman stretching
Get the facts on osteoporosis.
Porous bone
Causes, symptoms, risk factors, and treatment.
senior woman
Woman holding plate of brocolli
wrist xray
Superfood for Bones
mature woman
sunlight in hands
man and woman in front of xray
woman with dumbbells