January 8, 2008 / 6:00 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. warns of severe pain with osteoporosis drugs

2 Min Read

(Adds details from FDA statement)

WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - U.S. health officials issued an alert on Monday to highlight the possibility of severe bone, joint and muscle pain in patients treated with certain osteoporosis medicines.

The prescription drugs are members of the class called bisphosphonates. They include Fosamax from Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) and Actonel, sold by Procter & Gamble (PG.N) and Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA).

The potential for severe and sometimes incapacitating pain is listed on prescribing instructions for bisphosphonates. But the Food and Drug Administration said doctors might overlook a link between the drugs and severe pain, which may occur within days, months or years after patients start therapy. Doctors should consider if bisphosphonate use may be responsible for severe pain and think about stopping therapy temporarily or permanently, the FDA said.

The agency said it was still evaluating the issue, and the review would take about six months.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine, editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

((Reuters Messaging: lisa.richwine.reuters.com@reuters.net; +1 202 310-5691)) Keywords: OSTEOPOROSIS/

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