The #1 Controversial Osteoporosis Treatment The FDA Won’t Approve

By on June 11, 2013
Got brittle bones? According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, you aren’t alone: Nearly nine million Americans suffer from a condition called osteoporosis, a condition where your bones lose too much density and become prone to breaking.

While it may not seem like a serious condition now, experts say it’s worth the worry–untreated osteoporosis can lead to severe, and often permanent pain from bone breaks in the spine, wrist, or hip.

It’s even fatal: 20 percent of older Americans who broke their hip due to osteoporosis died within a year due to complications.

But now, researchers say there’s a new treatment that can treat even severe cases of osteoporosis–and its a treatment that the FDA won’t approve.

Meet The Latest Cure, Strontium Ranelate

Ready for some relief? Then here’s your cure–a cure that could save even the weakest bones from the throes of osteoporosis.

Classified as a metal, from a chemical standpoint, this osteoporosis treatment is similar–sometimes, scarily similar–to a micronutrient your body needs to maintain bone density, calcium.

Called strontium ranelate, researchers have called this treatment “unusual,” due to how the metal interacts–and then integrates itself–into porous bone, joints, and teeth.

Used by osteoporosis patients, the effects are remarkable: the metal works to both increase bone density while reducing bone loss, making it a very effective treatment for improving bone strength. It’s been shown to greatly improve quality of life and reduce pain in women at significant risk for bone fractures, and for those facing the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee, it slows the onset considerably.

For those suffering from bone or joint pain, this relief couldn’t come at a better time.

But despite being approved as a prescription drug in more than 70 countries, it’s still not approved by the FDA.

Why the FDA Won’t Approve It

Since 2004, strontium ranelate has been approved to treat osteoporosis in Europe, and now its use is seen in more than 70 countries–yet, nearly a decade later, the FDA still won’t allow Americans to reap its benefits.

The reason? It may work, but it isn’t necessarily safe.

According to a trial review by the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), which involved 7500 patients taking the drug, many people who took the drug faced a higher risk of cardiovascular problems, including myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

However, the PRAC notes most participants did not face a higher risk of death.  For now, doctors in Europe are now making stricter recommendations–such as not recommending it to patients with a history of heart problems–but American researchers aren’t so convinced this is the right approach. Some are recommending that it not be used at all, despite being an effective treatment for osteoporosis.

In the meanwhile, don’t expect to find this drug on a store shelf in your city.

Now it’s your turn to chime in: If a drug could reverse the symptoms of any disease but carried a higher risk of cardiovascular problems, would you take it? Why or why not?


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