FDA approves first Boniva generics to treat or prevent osteoporosis

March 19, 2012

FDA approved the first generic versions of Boniva (ibandronate) tablets, a once-monthly product to treat or prevent osteoporosis in women after menopause.

FDA approved the first generic versions of Boniva (ibandronate) tablets, a once-monthly product to treat or prevent osteoporosis in women after menopause.

Apotex, Orchid Healthcare, and Mylan Pharmaceuticals have gained FDA approval to make generic 150-mg ibandronate tablets.

The most common type of bone disease, osteoporosis, is characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Ibandronate is in a class of medications called bisphosphonates that help increase bone mass and reduce the chance of having a spinal fracture.

According to the National Institutes of Health, in the United States more than 40 million people either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.

“Men as well as women are affected by osteoporosis, a disease that can be prevented and treated,” Keith Webber, PhD, deputy director of the Office of Pharmaceutical Science in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said in an FDA press release. “For people who must manage their health conditions over time, it is important to have affordable treatment options.”

An FDA-required Medication Guide will be given to patients and caregivers when ibandronate is dispensed, describes the risks and adverse reactions people should be mindful of when using the drug. Ibandronate can cause serious side effects including: esophagus problems; low calcium levels in the blood; bone, joint, or muscle pain; severe jaw-bone problems; and unusual thigh-bone fractures.

In the clinical trials for Boniva, the most commonly observed adverse reactions were: back pain, indigestion (dyspepsia), pain in extremity, diarrhea, headache, and muscle pain (myalgia).