Orthopedic surgeons and bone specialists have been seeing an increasing number of unusual fractures among long-term users of bisphosphonate bone-strengthening drugs such as Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva and Reclast.
The latest and largest study suggests that women who've been on bisphosphonates for more than five years have a nearly three times higher risk of these fractures. Since tens of millions of women take bisphosphonates, this suggests thousands of them may suffer devastating atypical fractures every year.
According to NPR:
"... [A] growing number of experts agree ... that the risk of such fractures should discourage premature use of the drugs... [T]he take-home message is: Don't start one of these drugs too early ... [and[ don't stay on one of these drugs longer than necessary."