How Much Caution Is Too Much?

Published March 8th, 2016 by USA Rx
Fact Checked by
Chris Riley

Back in 2008-9, a series of stories began to appear in the news about how people using bisphosphonate drugs to treat osteoporosis were suddenly breaking their femurs on what appeared to be a regular basis. As a result, use of the drug dropped off significantly. But was this response justified, or was it an overreaction?

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that for every one fracture caused by a bisphosphonate, 100 fractures are prevented. Thus, while the drug may be responsible for those leg fractures, 99 other people who use them will avoid a similar incident.

In addition, the fractures that do occur may be the result of improper use rather than an unavoidable side effect. For instance, only those with a full case of osteoporosis should be using the medication, not just those who are losing some bone density, and since the publicized fractures only happened to those who had been taking the drug for over five years, avoiding such nasty side effects may be as simple as running the treatment for a limited number of years.

Thus, while it may be true that drugs like bisphosphonates may cause significantly harmful side effects, the benefits may actively outweigh the problems and make it worth trading a greater harm in exchange for a lesser harm. And while it may be uncomfortable to make this sort of a calculated risk when it comes to your health, the fact is that it happens all the time when you consider the dangers associated with even minor surgeries.

And if you need help mitigating a side effect most prescription medications share in common – their high price – you should sign up for a USARx pharmacy discount card. Over 60,000 American pharmacies accept our discount, and with it you can expect to pay up to 75 percent less than the list price for brand name and generic prescription medications. You can learn more by sending an email to [email protected] or by calling our toll-free number at 888-277-3911.

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