Rheumatology

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Osteonecrosis of jaw linked to bisphosphonate use

KEY POINT

Osteonecrosis of the jaw is a recently recognized adverse effect of bisphosphonates, and the problem is one that is particularly difficult to manage when it occurs. According to a systematic review published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine, nearly all reported cases have involved patients with multiple myeloma or metastatic carcinoma who have received intravenous, nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates, chiefly pamidronate and zoledronic acid (Zometa—Novartis).

SOURCES

Woo S-B et al. Systematic review: bisphosphonates and osteonecrosis of the jaws. Ann Intern Med. 2006;144:753–61.

National Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteonecrosis of the jaw. 2006.