Heart Beat: Osteoporosis drugs not linked to atrial fibrillation

Heart Beat

Osteoporosis drugs not linked to atrial fibrillation

Bone-strengthening drugs taken by millions of Americans to fight osteoporosis and other conditions aren't linked to the onset of the fast, irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. These drugs, called bisphosphonates, include alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), ibandronate (Boniva), pamidronate (Aredia, generic), risedronate (Actonel), tiludronate (Skelid), and zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa).

Studies in 2007 and 2008 raised the possibility that people who took a bisphosphonate were more likely to develop atrial fibrillation than those who didn't take one. These findings prompted the FDA to review trials that included nearly 40,000 participants who took one of these drugs or a placebo. The review found no association between use of a bisphosphonate and atrial fibrillation.

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