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Osteoporosis Health Center

Bone Drug May Help After Hip Fracture

Osteoporosis Drug Reclast May Cut Bone Fractures, Death Rate After Hip Fracture
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WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 18, 2007 -- People who start taking the osteoporosis drug Reclast after a hip fracture may live longer with fewer bone fractures.

Researchers report that news in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Reclast is given by infusion once a year. The process takes 15 minutes.

Reclast, made by Novartis, was approved by the FDA in August for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Its active ingredient, zoledronic acid, is also marketed by Novartis under the brand name Zometa for use in certain cancer patients.

The new Reclast study suggests that taking Reclast after a hip fracture may also be beneficial, and future research may add more information about which patients may benefit the most.

Reclast After Hip Fracture

The study included 2,127 hip fracture patients who were about 74 years old, on average.

Fracturing a hip is associated with a higher death rate in elders. It's not that seniors die of a fractured hip, but being sidelined with a fractured hip can lead to a downturn in health.

In the study, half of the patients began getting a yearly Reclast infusion within 90 days of fracturing a hip. The other half of the group got an injection that contained no medicine.

All of the patients took calcium and vitamin D supplements during the study. They were typically followed for about two years and were allowed to use certain other osteoporosis treatments.

During that time, patients who got Reclast were 35% less likely to fracture any bone and 28% less likely to die.

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