Raloxifene for postmenopausal osteoporosis
Raloxifene, which is marketed by Lilly as Evista, seems effective in preventing bone loss from postmenopausal osteoporosis. A two year long trial was done with 601 postmenopausal women taking 400 to 600 mg of elemental calcium daily. Those taking raloxifene in either 30 mg, 60 mg, or 150 mg doses showed increase in bone density from 2% to 3%, depending on dosage. This seems to be slightly less effective than estrogen plus progestin, although no direct comparison was done. Raloxifene does not seem to increase risk of cancer, but long term safety and effectiveness have not yet been tested.
Publication Name: Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
The osteoporosis revolution
Research has shed light on the factors involved in osteoporosis and ways to identify those at risk. Osteoporosis is a thinning of bone that can lead to fractures. Bone mass may be genetically determined and other physiological factors may be involved. X-rays can measure bone density and bone markers formed during the metabolism of bone can also be used diagnostically. Alendronate and calcitonin are two drugs approved to treat osteoporosis, but calcium and vitamin D are also important. Diagnostic and therapeutic measures could be expensive but so is the cost of treating hip fractures.
Publication Name: Annals of Internal Medicine
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