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  • fosamax

    Does it really cause brittle bones? What about it pulling the calcium from your jaw bone?

    I take it (osteopenia) but am not sure what I think about it.

    Are Vit. D supplements a better way to go than calcium supplements, as some say?


  • #2
    My T-stats were certainly an unpleasant surprise for me, but I'm really not into taking the biophosphanates. Osteonecrosis does not sound like fun, and I know my dental health is not top rate (work in progress) so I see that as a risk I don't want to take. I've also seen the brittle bone/spontaneous fracture issues that have been brought up.

    You should get your vitamin D level checked if you haven't already. I found out I was quite deficient, and am now taking 1.000 mg a day in addition to Calcium. I also have read that adding Magnesium can be beneficial, but you should discuss that with your doctor.

    I also got more disciplined about making sure I was doing weight bearing exercise every day and got back into strength training.

    There are also books that approach it from the point of view of nutrition, from the viewpoint that acid foods interfere with calcium absorption. Excessive alchohol can also interfere with bone formation (something I learned when researching the healing process for my broken wrist - the incident that led to my DEXA scan).

    I'll be getting retested this year to see if I've improved or at least not gotten worse. Meanwhile, good luck. There are a lot of resources out there for you to inform yourself for talking to your doctor about alternatives to the drugs.
    Only one cat - must not be totally crazy yet!


    • Original Poster

      Thanks so much, Evenstar. I've had my Vit. D levels checked & they were not low, but I take D anyway. My work involves lots of weight bearing, actually.

      Which calcium do you take/recommend?

      I started with a nasal spray to help bone density (Calcitonin spray), that didn't do enough, so we added in Fosamax.

      I work in medicine and the Drs. & Nurses seem to still say Fosamax is a good thing. Better to build up bone (even with the buzz about brittle bones) than to just keep losing it and surely run into problems.

      I already take some magnesium (for fibromyalgia). Works really well for muscle knots but on occasion, has made me feel funny (nausea, dizzy).

      I wonder where tea & coffee fit in, in regards to bones & calcium (tea-a-holic here).

      Thanks so much for the info. Wishing you strong bones & not too hot of a summer.



      • #4
        Read the literature. Fosamax, Boniva and other meds from that class do seem to decrease the fracture rate pretty substantially if you have poor bone density. The question is how long they should be taken. If you take them too many years, the complication rate goes up. Atypical fractures and jaw problems seem to be related to too many years of uninterrupted usage. It wouldn't surprise me if eventually there are recommendations to take the meds for 2 years, or some other time period, then stop the med to allow bone turnover to normalize, then restart the meds later if bone density decreases again.

        Weight bearing exercise, not being too skinny, getting enough vitamin D, and adequate calcium intake also seem to help.


        • #5
          Foxomax nearly killed me with indigestion - I still think it caused my reflux.
          I am now on Actonel with no known side effects, but also my numbers are going down so it is not doing a whole lot of good. I just hope it is doing some good.
          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


          • #6
            I used to take Didrocal, but my numbers slipped, so the Rheumatologist switched me to Actonel. I will have another scan later this year, so we'll see if it is doing any good. I've been on Didrocal/Actonal for probably close to 10 years.

            I'm taking 1500 mg Calcium (plus Magnesium), and 3000 D3. I recently heard that K2 is important for bone health, but I haven't had time to look for it. The local pharmacy didn't have it.
            My Equestrian Art Photography page


            • Original Poster

              Read the literature.

              Yes, read, AKB, but what about all the drugs that were put on the market, while the company knew full well about the problems and didn't disclose them? Tis true.

              Now, I'm not saying I would stop taking it due to the talk of brittle fractures, at this point. I think your two years (or so) on and off makes sense, somehow.


              • #8
                My (88 yo) mother was on it for a while; when the FDA suggested the black box warning on it, I sent her the guidance, which she showed to her doc, who promptly yanked her off it. But she'd already been on it a couple yrs. And, well, she's not young. So far no funky fractures, knock on wood.

                Going to go get a dexa myself in a couple weeks; hopefully my numbers will be ok cuz this class of drugs frankly makes me nervous.
                Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.


                • #9
                  new study you may be interested in:

                  Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.


                  • #10
                    Interesting. I've been on these drugs for 10 years or so. I've wanted to stop, but the Dr. persuaded me to continue. Now, I think I'll be more adamant.
                    My Equestrian Art Photography page


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by charismaryllis View Post
                      new study you may be interested in:

                      I was on Fosamax for 2-3 years and saw a similar article. When I asked my doctor about it, he recommended I go off the Fosamax, which I did.


                      • #12
                        I've been on Didrocal, then Actonel, for many years. I've quit twice. Both times, my Rheumatologist has told me to go back on, because I take a small dose of prednisone daily. I'm torn. I haven't filled the newest prescription yet (from last Friday). I go for my 4th BMD later this autumn. Previous readings show slight osteopenia, with a very slight drop in the numbers between the last two tests, hence the switch to Actonel.
                        My Equestrian Art Photography page