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 New study fuels bone fears over Glaxo's Avandia

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PostSubject: New study fuels bone fears over Glaxo's Avandia   Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:15 am

Reuters Health

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON (Reuters) - Patients taking GlaxoSmithKline Plc's diabetes drug Avandia may have a higher risk of hip and other fractures because the medicine decreases bone formation, according to new research by doctors in New Zealand.
A study of 50 postmenopausal women found those on Avandia (generic name, rosiglitazone) had a 1.9 percent fall in total hip bone density after 14 weeks of treatment, while those on a placebo experienced a reduction of 0.2 percent.
Lumbar spine bone density also fell significantly compared with starting levels but not compared with the placebo.
The latest research raises the question as to whether the drug increases the risk of osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease.
"Since patients with type 2 diabetes may have an increased risk of fragility fractures, the possibility that one of the therapies commonly used to treat the disease may be increasing that risk is a cause for concern," Andrew Grey of the University of Auckland and colleagues wrote in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The small New Zealand study comes on the heels of a major clinical trial of Avandia, called ADOPT, reported in December, which found an unexpected rise in peripheral fractures, most commonly involving the foot and upper limbs.
"We are carefully reviewing this latest study in the context of the ADOPT study, which showed no evidence of hip and spine fractures associated with osteoporosis," a Glaxo spokesman said on Tuesday.
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