In addition, prior research has identified that those who return to osteoporosis therapy after an PF-01367338 molecular weight extended gap MK-1775 research buy tend to return to the same drug class . Thus, while we recognize that switching between osteoporosis therapies may be more common in regions with better access to non-bisphosphonate therapy, we expect this to be minimal in our sample. Further research using large claims databases in other
regions will help clarify switching patterns. Third, we recognize that some of our observed non-persistence may have been physician directed due to the experience of, or concern for adverse drug events. Although oral bisphosphonates are generally well tolerated, upper gastrointestinal complaints are commonly reported in new users . In addition, with recent concerns for possible increased risk for femoral shaft fractures after long-term bisphosphonate use , a physician directed drug holiday may be reasonable for those patients with more than 5 years of bisphosphonate use, and could account for some of the non-persistence seen beyond 5 years. While the median exposure was only 2.2 years, 25% of patients had 5 years of uninterrupted therapy, and 12% had 9 years of uninterrupted selleckchem therapy. Despite these limitations, our study has several strengths. We followed more than 450,000 new users of oral bisphosphonates for up to 12.8 years. This provided ample follow-up to characterize
both drug switching and treatment reinitiation patterns. Our results indicate that most patients discontinue bisphosphonate enough therapy within 2 years and many experience more than one extended gap in bisphosphonate use. Although emerging evidence suggests that after 3–5 years of uninterrupted therapy a physician-directed drug holiday may be appropriate for many patients [24–26], further research is needed to clarify for which patients this may be suitable. In addition, we document that the majority of patients are not exposed to bisphosphonate therapy long enough to be considered for a physician-directed drug holiday, with a median length of exposure
of only 2 years, and the majority experiencing one or more extended gaps in therapy. Osteoporosis is a major public health concern that results in debilitating fractures. Oral bisphosphonates are first-line therapy for osteoporosis, and are effective in reducing fracture risk. Although other therapies are available, including nasal calcitonin, raloxifene, teriparatide, zoledronic acid, and most recently, denosumab; these agents are reserved as second or third line treatment options. Our results not only confirm findings from other countries by identifying sub-optimal rates of persistence with oral bisphosphonate, but our findings add to the literature by identifying the frequency of extended gaps and rate of return to therapy. We identify that many patients return to therapy following an extended gap; however, the clinical impact of this time away from therapy remains unknown.