Bisphosphonates don’t increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, according to the study Oral Bisphosphonates and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation and Flutter in Women: A Self-Controlled Case-Series Safety, published in PLoS One on March 2009.

The authors used a self-control case series analysis to study nearly 400,000 women from the UK General Practice Research Database. They included women prescribed oral alendronate or risedronate in a period of 2 years (between December 2006 and December 2008).

“We found no robust evidence of an overall long-term increased risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter associated with continued exposure to the oral bisphosphonates, alendronic acid and risedronate sodium. A possible signal for an increase in risk during the first few months of therapy with alendronic acid needs to be re-assessed in additional studies.”

Quoting the conclusions of another related paper; Relation of Bisphosphonate Therapies and Risk of Developing Atrial Fibrillation, American Journal of Cardiology:

“In conclusion, in a long-term study of >47,000 patients, we were unable to find an association between bisphosphonate therapy and AF. However, patients who received bisphosphonates were older and had more cardiovascular disease that we suspect accounts for the increased arrhythmia risk reported in other trials.”

As you can read in a previous post, FDA issued an update some months ago on the topic.