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´╗┐Drug Ends Joint Loss in Osteoarthritis

Drug Ends Joint Loss in Osteoarthritis

Study: Osteoporosis Drug Actonel Prevents Destruction of Joint From Osteoarthritis

Preventing Joint Destruction continued...

"Higher doses of [Actonel] in postmenopausal women may delay joint destruction and the need for joint replacement surgery in patients with severe knee OA," he says.

While participants in the high-dose groups were protected against bone loss, there were no such effects among participants taking dummy pill or lower doses, the study showed.

"You save the bone, you save the cartilage," says Eric Matteson, MD, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "If the new findings hold up, it's a cool thing. The results look very promising."

The Importance of Weight Loss

While the new study appears promising, "the most important thing for knee osteoarthritis patients is to lose weight," stresses Elizabeth Karlson, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"Weight reduction or maintaining a normal body mass index improves pain, improves function, and delays the need for joint replacement surgery," she tells WebMD.

Studies have shown that losing just a modest amount of weight can reduce pain, relieve stiffness, and improve daily functioning for patients with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis -- in some cases more effectively than drugs.

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