Doctors discuss oral bisphosphonates alternatives for osteoporosis patients at international meeting

After recent reports linked the osteoporosis medications bisphosphonates to an increased risk of esophageal cancer, a number of physicians world-wide have discussed safer ways to administer the drug. reports that at a medical meeting in Dubai titled Optimizing Osteoporosis Treatment, orthopedic surgeons discussed the risk of fracture in osteoporotic patients and the available treatment options.

"If the patient has any swallowing difficulties or gastro-intestinal problems, such as indigestion or a hiatus hernia, then they should be considered for the intravenous bisphosphonate instead," said professor David Reid, head of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Aberdeen, UK, quoted by the news source.

Using a once yearly infusion of bisphosphonate, rather than the oral form of the drug which has to be taken daily, weekly or monthly, can ensure greater patient compliance, as after the drug has been administered the patient does not have to take it again for 12 months, the news source reports.

Approximately eight million women and two million men have osteoporosis in the U.S. according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.