Should women take a break from bone building drugs?

September 9, 2011 2:54:08 PM PDT
Food and Drug Administration advisers voted to require makers of widely used osteoporosis drugs to clarify how long patients should take them for the greatest benefit and least risk.

A few patients have suffered serious complications -- including jawbone destruction and unusual thighbone fractures-- generally after several years of use.

The drugs, known as bisphosphonates stop and reverse dangerous thinning of bones in many people, preventing hip and spine fractures. But after a while, it's unclear whether they do more harm than good.

Experts are trying to provide better advice on whether patients should stop the drugs totally or temporarily after several years.