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Osteoporosis Drug Fosamax Linked to Esophagus Cancer

Posted Jan 07 2009 3:06pm

A new report in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests a connection between the osteoporosis drug Fosamax and esophageal cancer. Since the drug debuted in October 2005 and up to May 2008, the FDA has received 23 claims of patients in the U.S. being diagnosed with esophagus cancer. Fosamax is the suspect drug in 21 cases and the concomitant drug in 2. Experts urge not prescribing Fosamax to patients with Barrett's esophagus, a condition caused by chronic acid reflux and is a precursor to esophageal cancer; ABC News reports.

And in April, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine linked Fosamax and its generic alendronate with irregular heartbeat. Researchers compared the heartbeats of individuals taking and not taking the drug, revealing 6.5% of those taking medication had irregular heart rhythm and only 4.1% of individuals not taking medication had irregular heartbeat; via BayNews9.com.

Preventing osteoporosis is key. According to Dr. Fuhrman things like checking your vitamin D levels, exercising regularly and avoiding salt —which can leach calcium from bones—helps women avoid osteoporosis. Also, wearing a weighted vest can help strengthen bones.

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