FDA Investigating Whether Certain Osteoporosis Drugs Cause Cancer

First, it was an increase in bone fractures, now it’s a potential link to esophageal cancer. The osteoporosis drugs known as bisphosphonates but more popularly known as Boniva, Fosamax, and Actonel may be linked to a certain rare form of throat cancer. No data provides a definitive conclusion at this point, but the potential has led the FDA to move forward with a further investigation of the class of drugs.
According to NPR, “Some research has suggested that regular use of the pills could increase that risk. A paper published in BMJ, the British Medical Journal, last year suggested the medicines could double the risk of such cancers. But the cancers are rare, and the doubling would lead to about 2 cases per 1,000 people over five years instead of 1 case per 1,000 people (among people aged 60 to 79).”