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Jaw Osteonecrosis in Patients Receiving Oral Bisphosphonates Therapy

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DOI: 10.4236/ijcm.2014.517140    2,290 Downloads   2,903 Views Citations


We describe the cases of three patients, under the care of the rheumatology service, who presented with osteonecrosis of the jaw whist on oral bisphosphonate therapy. The first case is of a 74-year-old woman with a 12 year history of sero-negative inflammatory arthritis, having been on oral steroids for 11 years, Methotrexate for the preceding 6 years, and oral bisphosphonates for 9 years. Clinical and radiographic examination revealed extensive jaw necrosis. The second patient was a 72-year-old woman with temporal arteritis, on long term oral steroids, and oral bisphosphonates presenting with jaw osteonecrosis. The third case is of an 81-year-old lady with a diagnosis of Polymyalgia Rheumatica on reducing dose of prednisolone along with calcium and vitamin D3 and oral bisphosphonate therapy as part of steroid induced prophylaxis guidelines. On reviewing the literature regarding bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw, there is indeed recognition of this occurring with oral bisphosphonates. However, this is far less common than with intravenous preparations. Reports to the UK MHRA regarding adverse reactions have shown 53 cases of osteonecrosis of the jaw associated with oral bisphosphonates, but this is thought to represent under-reporting. We suggest consideration of patient counselling and consent, and preventive dental work prior to initiation of oral bisphosphonate therapy.

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Simcox, D. , Grover, K. , Godfrey, R. and Peshin, R. (2014) Jaw Osteonecrosis in Patients Receiving Oral Bisphosphonates Therapy. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 5, 1099-1101. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2014.517140.

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