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Fracture Healing

An Appraisal of the Effects of Frequently Prescribed Medications

Robert G. Smith Shoe String Podiatry, 723 Lucerne Cir, Ormond Beach, FL 32174. (E-mail: ASamaan@cfl.rr.com)

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 DPM, MSc, RPh, CPed
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Background

Recognizing the existence of adverse drug effects of frequently prescribed drugs can empower a clinician with knowledge to avoid dangerous adverse effects that may result in hazardous, negative patient outcomes on either fracture healing or bone health. Pharmacovigilance reports have described the influence of medications, allowing for bone health to be quite unpredictable.

Methods

First, mechanisms found in the medical literature of potential drug adverse effects regarding fracture healing are presented. Second, the 100 most frequently prescribed medications in 2010 are reviewed regarding adverse effects on fracture healing. These reported adverse effects are evaluated for medical causation. Last, a data table describing the 100 reviewed medications and their reported effects on fracture healing is provided.

Results

The actual number of different medications in the review was 72. Reported drug adverse effects on bone and fracture healing occurred with 59 of the 72 drugs (81.9%). These adverse effects are either described as a definitive statement or represented by postmarketing case reports. Thirteen of the 72 review drugs (18.1%) did not have any description of the possible effects on bone health. A total of 301 cases reports describing delayed union, malunion, and nonunion of fractures represent 31 of the 72 medications reviewed (43.1%).

Conclusions

This review offers the health-care provider information regarding potential adverse drug effects on bone health. Empowered with this information, clinicians may assist their patients in maximizing pharmacologic outcomes by avoiding these reported harmful adverse effects.