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February 25th, 2010
New Osteoporosis Drug Raises Blood Clot Risk, Prevents Fractures

A new drug developed to battle osteoporosis has been found to reduce the risk of fractures and the risk of some breast cancers, heart disease and stroke, according to new research.

However, similar to other osteoporosis treatments already available, the drug (called Lasofoxifene) also raises the risk of blood clots, the researchers discovered. Lasofoxifene, also known as Fabyln, has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

There have been conflicting reactions to the drug from different experts. Lead study author, Dr. Steven Cummings, professor and director of the San Francisco Coordinating Center at the University of California San Francisco believes that the drug looks good. However, Dr. Carolyn Becker, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine Feb. 25 issue believes that the drug contains “too many unknowns”.

For the study, 8,556 women aged 59 to 80 and diagnosed with osteoporosis took either a daily dose of the prescription drug or a placebo for a duration of five years. Lasofoxifene is classified as a selective estrogen-receptor modulator (SERM), similar to raloxifene (Evista).

Researchers concluded that lasofoxifene “reduces the risk of all fractures (spinal and elsewhere), breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. Breast cancer by more than half, nonspinal fractures by about a quarter, which is similar to what other drugs have done, stroke and heart disease by a quarter to a third.”

Results from the study revealed that a higher dose of 0.5mg a day worked better for patients. Side effects from the drug included, 28 patients developing lung cancer compared to four patients in the placebo group. Also, blood clot risk more than doubled for patients taking lasofoxifene which is a risk found with estrogen and other SERMs.

The most exciting news from the results, according to Cummings, is that “lasofoxifene also prevents the fractures that cause most of the disability”, referring to non-spinal fractures in the hip, upper arm and pelvis. But this effect does not begin until five years after first taking the drug, and the actual risk reductions were small.

Women suffering from osteoporosis should first turn to drugs known as bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, and only consider SERM drugs if they are considered at higher risk.

For more information about treatment for osteoporosis and new prescription drugs, visit http://www.orderonlinedrugs.com


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