Steroid Use

 

Osteoporosis is a Serious and Common Complication of Corticosteroid Therapy; NOF Comments on New Treatment for Corticosteroid-Induced Osteoporosis

WASHINGTON, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- A new treatment for corticosteroid- induced osteoporosis, Fosamax, offers hope for the millions of men and women suffering from arthritis, asthma, and many other diseases who need to take corticosteroids, but often develop osteoporosis as a result. Corticosteroids, powerful anti-inflammatory drugs such as prednisone and cortisone, are widely prescribed for many diseases. Doses as low as 7.5 mg per day greatly increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that leads to painful fractures, loss of height and independence, and can even lead to death.

``We are pleased the FDA has approved Fosamax for treatment of the bone loss caused by corticosteroids, the most common cause of secondary osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a serious and common complication of prolonged corticosteroid therapy for men and women at any age,'' said C. Conrad Johnston, Jr., M.D., president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. ``Bone loss increases with the dose and duration of corticosteroid treatment. Anyone about to go on long-term corticosteroids at higher doses, or anyone who has been on them, should have a bone density test. This new treatment provides doctors with a therapy to offer their patients who must take corticosteroids.''

Osteoporosis is a preventable and treatable disease affecting one in two women and one in eight men over age 50. Anyone at risk for osteoporosis, including people who must take corticosteroids, should ask their doctor about a bone density test, a painless test that can detect bone loss and diagnose osteoporosis before fractures occur. Some other osteoporosis risk factors include being female, being postmenopausal, having a family history of osteoporosis, a personal history of fractures, a thin or small build, and being Caucasian or Asian.

Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for more than 28 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. This disease causes nearly 1.5 million fractures annually and costs this country nearly $14 billion each year. Contrary to popular belief, osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of aging, but is a preventable disease for most people.

With more than 250,000 members, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is the only nonprofit, voluntary health organization dedicated to reducing the widespread prevalence of osteoporosis through programs of research, education, and advocacy.

SOURCE: National Osteoporosis Foundation

 

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