A pair of recent studies by international researchers has provided new evidence of risks associated with drugs commonly used for the treatment of osteoporosis and the disabling condition of diabetes.

One study by researchers in the U.S. showed that women using the osteoporosis drug Fosamax showed nearly twice the likelihood of having atrial fibrillation, a type of abnormal heartbeat.

Another study by researchers in Switzerland showed that diabetes drugs Avandia and Actos can more than double the risk of bone fractures.

According to Dr. Jane Cauley of the University of Pittsburgh, the studies, which were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, highlight the need of patients to carefully weigh risks and benefits of drugs.T

Cauley discounted evidence that there is a link between drugs for increasing bone mass for osteoporosis sufferers and atrial fibrillation, but agreed that a possible link could exist between the diabetes drugs and bone fractures.

Christian Meier of University Hospital Basel conducted the diabetes study in which those who were taking Avandia or Actos should double or triple the odds of receiving non-spine fractures. The greater risk was among patients taking the drugs for around 12 to 18 months and the highest was for those with two years or more of therapy.

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