Drug combination can protect bones

Rosiglitazone does not appear to cause bone fractures if used in combination with metformin, research has found.

Previous studies suggested that rosiglitazone could lead to bone loss and NICE recommends that GPs discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with glitazones with patients.

Researchers investigated whether taking rosiglitazone with metformin could reverse bone loss in rats with bone damage. Rats were given metformin, rosiglitazone, both drugs, or a placebo.

After 30 days of treatment, rats given metformin showed signs of bone healing. Rats given rosiglitazone showed decreased bone healing compared with the control group.

In the rats given both drugs, metformin completely reversed the ability of rosiglitazone to inhibit new bone formation.

Further research is required to see whether the results can be translated to humans, the researchers stressed.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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