FDA: Possible Bisphosphonate-Esophageal CA Link Reviewed

Friday, July 22, 2011 (Last Updated: 07/25/2011)

FRIDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified health care professionals and patients that the use of oral bisphosphonates does not appear to increase the risk of esophageal cancer, with the agency currently not recommending endoscopic screening of asymptomatic patients.

Oral bisphosphonates are typically used for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis as well as to treat other bone diseases. The FDA has been reviewing currently available data on whether the use of oral bisphosphonate drugs is associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. To date, the agency has not concluded that patients taking oral bisphosphonate drugs have an increased risk of esophageal cancer.

The FDA believes that the benefits of oral bisphosphonates in reducing the risk of serious fractures outweigh the risk of adverse events in patients with osteoporosis. The FDA will continue to evaluate all available data on bisphosphonate drugs and provide updated information and recommendations when more information becomes available.

According to the FDA, "patients should talk with their health care professional about the benefits and risks of taking oral bisphosphonates and how long they should expect to take them. Patients should talk with their health care professional if they develop swallowing difficulties, chest pain, new or worsening heartburn, or have trouble or pain when swallowing."

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Specialties Dermatology

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