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Another Study Sees Avandia, Actos Fracture Risk

Jul 30, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

Another study has added to the growing body of evidence linking Avandia and Actos to an increased risk of fractures. This latest research, which appears in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that the drugs increased the risk of fractures in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes, as well as in men prescribed either Avandia or Actos plus a loop diuretic.

Avandia and Actos both belong to class of diabetes drugs known as thiazolidinediones. This new study used data from a large study known as TRIAD, identifying 786 cases of fractures and comparing them to 2,657 patients who had diabetes but no fracture history. Of the 786 patients with fractures, only 54 were women less than 50 years old, while 457 were women 50 and older and 275 were men.

The researchers looked at prescriptions participants had filled during the 90 days prior to the fracture date or 90 days before a designated study date for those without fractures.

Women over 50 who had broken bones were 71 percent more likely to have been prescribed a thiazolidinedione. In men, the increased risk (more than triple) was seen among those taking both a thiazolidinedione and loop diuretics like Lasix, but not in just one or the other. The researchers pointed out that loop diuretics have been linked with bone density decreases.

In both genders, the fracture risk went up the longer a person was on the medication.

According to the researchers, the fractures seen in the study weren’t just the spine and hip fractures most often seen in people with osteoporosis. Many of the people included in the study suffered lower limb, arm, and leg fractures.

The study authors do point out that it does have some limitations, including that it a was randomized controlled study. Also, the TRIAD study they utilized was not designed to look at this fracture risk. The researchers called for larger, randomized trials.

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