Good News About Anabolic Drugs to Boost Bone Density

A study large enough to ease surgeons' minds about the risk of bone cancer after use of teriparatide and abaloparatide

What’s the Claim?

A large-database study drew from the records of over 144 million patients of all payer types and found no increased risk of primary bone sarcoma among patients over the age of 50 who were treated with two anabolic bone agents — teriparatide (Forteo, a synthetic version of parathyroid hormone) and abaloparatide (Tymlos, a parathyroid hormone protein) — when compared to a matched control group. Some analyses suggested that those who received the drugs had lower risk of developing primary bone malignancies, a finding that is difficult to explain, but at least there was no clear increase in risk at 5-year follow-up.

How’s It Stack Up?