Many on Bisphosphonates Lack Information About the Drugs

Most unfamiliar with treatment duration and risk of side effects such as oral osteonecrosis
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Many individuals taking bisphosphonates are unfamiliar with potential adverse events associated with treatment and with the duration of treatment, according to a study in the May 1 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Cesar A. Migliorati, D.D.S., of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and colleagues evaluated individuals between June 2008 and April 2009 seeking routine dental care and being treated with bisphosphonates. The knowledge of each individual was assessed regarding indications for bisphosphonate treatment, duration of treatment, and whether they had been educated on the risk of possible adverse events associated with treatment.

Of the 73 individuals interviewed, the researchers note that 84 percent said they understood why they were being prescribed bisphosphonate therapy. However, 82 percent were unable to remember if they had been educated by their prescribing physician on the risk of adverse events such as oral osteonecrosis, and 80 percent were unsure about the duration of treatment.

"We believe that a more effective communication process between prescribing physicians, dentists and patients using bisphosphonates is needed," the authors write.

Migliorati serves as a consultant for Amgen.

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