How Long Should You Take Osteoporosis Drugs?

Researchers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have taken a close look at the long-term benefit of bisphosphonates, a class of medications widely prescribed to treat osteoporosis. An FDA review of clinical studies measuring the effectiveness of long-term bisphosphonates use shows that some patients may be able to stop using bisphosphonates after three to five years and still continue to benefit from their use, says Marcea Whitaker, M.D., a medical officer at FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Whitaker is one of the co-authors of the FDA review, which was published in the May 31, 2012 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.