Do pain relievers impede bone drug’s efficacy?

New research published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research suggests that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are taken to reduce pain may block the beneficial effects of bone-protective drugs called bisphosphonates.


In the study of 5,212 community-dwelling women aged 75 years and older, the use of NSAIDs did not seem to have a direct impact on individuals’ bone fracture risk, but the medications appeared to negate the bone-protective effects of the oral bisphosphonate, clodronate, on preventing osteoporotic fractures.

“We need to exercise some caution in extrapolating these data to more widely used bisphosphonates in osteoporosis, but given that concomitant usage of NSAIDs and bisphosphonates is relatively common, this could have major clinical consequences and result in a failure to reduce fracture risk as much as we had hoped,” said senior author Eugene McCloskey, MD, of Northern General Hospital and Professor in Adult Bone Disease at the University of Sheffield's Department of Oncology and Metabolism.

View the full paper here