Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Two-in-one drug hope for osteoporosis sufferers

For the elderly, osteoporosis is a deadly disease which leaves bones so brittle that even a small fall can result into a bone fracture. Every month, 1,150 die prematurely as a result of a hip fractures and half of patients do not regain their independence. At least 120,000 people a year suffer spinal fractures.

However, now there is good news.

Two drugs currently used to treat osteoporosis could produce better results if used in tandem, researchers say.

Using a combination of the drugs, already available on the NHS, resulted in an increase in bone density of up to 5 per cent in just a year, they found.

Most currently available osteoporosis drugs, including denosumab, stop the action of cells that break down bone during the normal process of bone formation. In contrast, teriparatide – also known as Forsteo – stimulates the creation of new bone.

Now a latest trial found women given combination therapy had greater improved bone density than those receiving denosumab alone.

In the study, a team from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston randomly assigned 94 post-menopausal women with osteoporosis to treatment with either teriparatide taken as a daily pill, or a six-monthly jab with denosumab, or both drugs for 12 months.

The researchers measured density changes in lumbar spine, hip bone, and femoral neck using low-dose x-rays and bone biomarkers.

Read more about it at: Mail Online
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