There are millions of hip, arm and vertebrae fractures every year. And for many, a hip fracture is a death sentence. But there’s something you should be even more afraid of than osteoporosis.
It’s an osteoporosis drug. And doctors write hundreds of thousands of prescriptions for it every year. And not only does it have some big risks that go along with it, it turns out that it doesn’t even work.
That’s right – no benefits, just all risk.
Even Big Pharma admits it has not seen any evidence that it prevents fractures!
So if you get an prescribed this drug, see what experts around the world are saying before you fill that prescription.
A bad break
The drug is called calcitonin-salmon. Salmon is in the name because it’s a man-made version of a hormone found in salmon. And it can be given by nasal spray or injection.
The drug isn’t new, and experts have been sounding the alarm on it for almost two decades… and there is NO evidence that it will prevent bone fractures. That should be enough to get it taken off the market.
Unbelievably Novartis, which makes a brand of it called Miacalcin, admits that. It says right there on the label that its ability to reduce fractures has “not been demonstrated.”
But what has been demonstrated is this: It can cause cancer.
It’s so bad, in fact, that this drug has been banned in Europe and Canada! In the UK, regulators warn:
- This medicine should only be used for a maximum of three months.
- This medicine must only be used in the short term and your prescriber will try to find the lowest dose of your medicine which can control your condition.
Health Canada – the Canadian pharmaceutical drug regulator – said last year that risk from this drug is greater than any benefit. And in 2012, the European Medicines Agency said the same thing.
So why are doctors still prescribing this drug?
That’s what Dr. Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen wanted to know.
Last year, Dr. Sidney testified before an American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) committee and told them that all of the studies done by both the FDA and Novartis showed a high risk of cancer from the drug. He told them about three “fracture trial” studies that were done, none of which showed that it gave any protection against bone fractures.
And the committee agreed with him.
It voted 12 to 9 against continuing to allow calcitonin to be prescribed for osteoporosis. Those 12 experts on the committee all said Dr. Wolfe was right.
And still, shockingly, this drug is still on the market.
That’s because the FDA overruled the committee’s vote.
So, once again, it’s up to you to protect yourself against a highly risky and ineffective prescription drug that can only do more harm than good.
The brand names of this drug are Fortical and Miacalcin. The generic versions are just called calcitonin-salmon.
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“Do Not Use MIACALCIN Nasal Spray or Other Calcitonin-Containing Drugs for Osteoporosis” Worst Pills Best Pills Newsletter, May 2014, worstpills.org
“Cholesterol-reducing drugs may lessen brain function, says researcher” ScienceDaily, sciencedaily.com
“A top hospital opens up to Chinese herbs as medicines” Sumathi Reddy, April 21, 2014, The Wall Street Journal, online.wsj.com