NY Times on bone drugs for women… Beware the Dexxa scan
I was just reading about how many of the bone forming drugs such as Boneva amongst others were being reviewed by the FDA because of their side effects Read the article here
Over the years, I have had many female patients who were given Dexxa scans to monitor their bone density as they aged. The problem with these very sensitive tests is that they are being used to make women aware of problems that may never exist. Many women have bone loss as they age. Few of them have osteoporosis to the extent of bone fractures as they age.
Years ago, we would take a plain film x ray and if we saw extreme osteoporosis in an elderly patient, it would be noted and we would occasionally see an older person who had collapsed vertebre. With the dexxa scan, women were being told that if their numbers were too low, or slightly low, they can boost the numbers with the new class of medications that came about in 1995, with products like boneva.
The problem is, there were side effects that many women could not tolerate and just recently, abnormal fractures were being reported in women who were on these drugs, apparently as a more serious side effect.
The problem is of course that the healthcare system has made women paranoid that they will have fractures as they age, and that they need this prevention intervention to stay healthy. This is clearly not preventative, and has us making patients think that taking this harmful medication is good for their health. This is why the FDA is taking a second look at it.
Believe it or not, you can age and get older and stay healthy, without all the intervention and fear mongering. Sometimes less is more and in the case of these products, perhaps, skipping them, and the dexxa scanner altogether is good medicine.
What do you think? As always, I value your opinion.