Amsterdam, June 06, 2017 – A new position statement by the European Menopause and Andropause Society(EMAS) published in the journal Maturitas summarises the evidence about drug holidays from bisphosphonates and denosumab in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis affects 1 in 3 women. Bisphosphonates, such as alendronate, risendronate and zoledronic acid, and denosumab are used extensively to treat the condition. Despite their proven efficacy in reducing spine and hip fracture their optimal duration of use is uncertain. The rare and severe side effects, such as osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) and atypical femoral fractures (AFF), has raised the issue of ‘drug holidays’.
EMAS recommends that all women who have been treated for more than 5 years with alendronate or more than 3 years with risedronate or zoledronic acid have a ‘drug holiday’ if their risk of fracture is low. Women should be reassessed 1-3 years after stopping. The decision to restart treatment mainly depends on whether there have been new fractures and if risk of fracture has increased. In women stopping denosumab, close monitoring is suggested, due to the possibility of’ rebound’ fractures.
‘Women and health professionals are confused about long term management of osteoporosis and this useful statement on ‘drug holidays’ will be extremely helpful’, Prof Margaret Rees, EMAS Executive Director.
The complete statement can be found in ‘Drug holidays from bisphosphonates and denosumab in postmenopausal osteoporosis: A European Menopause and Andropause Society Postition Statement’ byPanagiotis Anagnostis and others. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.04.008.
It is published inMaturitas, volume 101 (2017), published by Elsevier.