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What is a Drug Holiday?

What is a Drug Holiday?

A drug holiday is a planned period of time that a patient stops taking a medication for anywhere from a few days to up to a year or more. A doctor may recommend a drug holiday to help the patient maintain sensitivity to the drug, to see how the body functions without it or to reduce possible side effects.

Researchers measured the hip fracture risk among post-menopausal women who take an oral bisphosphonate holiday after taking the drug for at least two years. The study found that women who take their medication regularly before the drug holiday were much less likely to fracture their hips than women who took the drug sporadically. Among women taking the medication regularly, those who took the drug holiday were not at significantly greater risk for hip fracture than those who continued the medication. The greatest decrease in fracture risk was seen in women who took their treatment regularly over a longer period of time.

If you have been taking an oral bisphosphonate for several years, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking a drug holiday.

To read the full study, visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2574626/

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