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Livial helps women's bones, but raises chances for stroke


NEW YORK While it can prevent breast cancer and broken bones in elderly women, Schering-Plough’s menopause drug Livial can also double the risk of stroke, a study has found.

The study, published in Thursday’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that Livial reduced the risk of spinal fractures by 45 percent and the risk of breast cancer by 68 percent in women aged 60 to 85. The study, however, had to be stopped before completion in part because some participants began having strokes.

Schering-Plough bought the drug through it’s acquisition of Akzo Nobel’s Organon unit in 2007, but the Food and Drug Administration refused to approve it the previous year.

Bloomberg quoted the study’s author as saying the drug was useful in women aged 50 to 60, but should not be given to women after the age of 60 or 65.

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