Osteoporosis drug could fight arthritis in older women

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A drug commonly used to fight osteoporosis shows promise as a treatment for osteoarthritis in older, postmenopausal women.

The medication, calcitonin, is already used to fight age-linked bone loss. Preliminary research in laboratory rats suggests that it also could help older women stop osteoarthritis, according to a new study published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Investigators admit that further studies in humans are necessary, but they believe the results are encouraging. An estimated 80% of Americans age 55 and older, many of whom are women, suffer from osteoarthritis, according to the study report.