Postmenopausal Women Needed for Osteoporosis Research

July 11, 1996

At menopause, a woman's ovaries stop producing estrogen. This lack of estrogen contributes to a loss of bone mass, a medical condition known as osteoporosis. In addition to reducing bone mass, osteoporosis reduces the strength of bone. Because of these changes in the bone, postmenopausal women with osteoporosis have an increased risk of fractures, especially to the spine, hip, and wrist.

In an effort to stem the tide of osteoporosis, researchers at the University of Rochester Menopause Center are seeking woman to participate in a study of FOSAMAX which, taken with standard hormone replacement therapy (estrogen), may decrease the rate of bone loss.

FOSAMAX is an FDA-approved drug that reduces the activity of the cells that cause bone loss, decreasing the rate of bone loss that occurs after menopause; in addition, FOSAMAX increases the amount of bone in most patients.

"Many women are not aware they are at risk for developing osteoporosis until a fracture occurs, and at that time it is too late to reverse the toll osteoporosis has taken," says the study's principal investigator, Ruth Schwartz, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "We are looking to study the effectiveness and tolerability of this medication as an addition to standard hormone replacement therapy, such as estrogen, with the hope of stopping osteoporosis."

The study involves randomization of study volunteers into a group taking the FOSAMAX and a group taking a placebo (inactive substance), and a comparison of groups. Volunteers in both groups continue to take their prescribed hormone replacement therapy as well as Vitamin D and calcium supplements.

Volunteers should be postmenopausal women in generally good health. Participation in the study involves physician visits, lab tests, physical exams (including Pap smears), mammogram, and bone density measurements -- all at no charge to volunteers. In addition, all medications -- including hormone replacement therapy -- will be provided free of charge during the study.

Women interested in participating are encouraged to call study coordinator Carole Grady at (716) 275-8604.

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