Loyola Medicine Logo The health zone seems to have stumbled upon a fascinating discovery. According to the latest study by Loyola University Health System, taking time off from certain osteoporosis drugs can boost bone health. The popular class of osteoporosis drugs, bisphosphonates can possibly trigger fractures in the thigh bones and tissue decay within the jaw bone.

Experts assume that long term usage of bisphosphonates can lead to detrimental effects. Generally physicians suggest patients to take a break from bisphosphonates after four to five years. Apparently these drugs continue to stabilize bones and decline chances of bone loss after treatment completion. At the time of the study, 123 females and 16 males forming a total of 139 patients with osteoporosis and osteopenia were examined. Scientists focused on distinguishing the optimal drug holiday length after prolonged use of bisphosphonates on the basis of alterations in bone mineral density and bone loss. Prior to a drug holiday from 2005 to 2010, patients were made to consume a bisphosphonate for an average of 6.8 years.

In a three year period though five fractures were reported, no significant changes in bone mineral density appeared and within six months bone loss elevated. Pauline Camacho, MD, study investigator and director of the Loyola University Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease Center and colleagues mentioned that the type of bisphosphonate and duration of treatment did not affect bone mineral density. It was observed that bone density remained stable for three years in patients on a drug holiday from bisphosphonates. Additional investigations can be initiated to evaluate the optimal duration of the drug holiday.