New Data Linking Bisphosphonates and Atrial Fib: Should FDA Revisit?

BROOKLYN, NY — Authors of a new analysis say the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should consider revisiting its investigation of the atrial-fibrillation (AF) risk with certain osteoporosis drugs, in the wake of new studiesheartwire .

And this meta-analysis suggests that they should be continued as a first-line therapy for osteoporosis and osteopenia, "but we should be very careful in selecting our patients." In particular, patients at high risk for AF—those who are older or have a history of cardiac events—should be closely monitored.

"Bisphosphonates are very commonly used medications, and more and more indications are coming up, and these patients tend to have concomitant cardiac conditions," Sharma pointed out. "Bisphosphates are usually started by the patient's general physician or oncologist. I strongly suggest that my cardiology colleagues should be aware of this association, and apart from close patient surveillance, they should work with oncologists."

The meta-analysis was published online March 15, 2014, in the American Journal of Cardiology.


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