Osteopenia/Osteoperosis meds


I'm turning 40 next month and went through premature menopause at age 35--so I'm 5 years post menopausal. My dexascan shows mild osteopenia and my gyn wanted me to start Fosamax or Boniva, etc. I chose to be more consistent with calcium/vit d supplements and strength training, etc. for a year and then see what my bone density is.

After doing research, there are some nasty side effects of these meds, and I've already suffered thyroid problems from medication side effects so I'm very cautious.

I just looked on askapatient.com and these meds get 1.3 to 1.5 ratings out of 5. Terrible side effects!

Anyone have experience with them/take them?

My mom takes Fosamax. I know she has to have some sort of test done regularly... liver? Kidneys? I can't remember for sure, but I know the drug is hard on one of those major organs. She's been taking the drug for several years now and is fine. She's never experienced any other side effects.

Check with your doctor, of course, but one thing you might want to do is to take more than enough calcium. There's a lot of evidence out there that some foods impair uptake of calcium... spinach is one, I think. Also, space your calcium doses throughout the day. The body makes better use of calcium when it's taken in smaller, more frequent doses.
Yes, I took Actonel for a couple of years. I do not take it anymore, nor will I ever chose to again! It is the same type/family of drug as Boniva, etc.

I didn't have too many problems with the potential digestive side-effects. My issue was with aching joints. It took me a while to figure out what was happening. My knees and fingers ached a lot, and I would wake up in the morning unable to make a fist because of swelling. I could barely stand to exercise. Tests for MS and osteoarthritis came back negative. I finally figured out it was the Actonel after doing some research on the internet. After I stopped taking it, my symptoms disappeared, although it took a few months for them to go away completely because the cell turnover in bones is very slow.

Since increasing my strength training (thanks Cathe) and including more higher impact cardio, my bone density has stabilized in some areas and slightly improved in others. I also take a highly-digestible calcium supplement from Andrew Lessman.

For me, taking the drug eventually seemed counter-productive since it caused me to exercise less -- plus it was painful. So I advise you to do your research before you commit to it. These drugs are now available for a once-a-year dose, but be aware that that means that if you have a problem with them, it will be at least a year before they leave your system.
Whatever you do DON'T use bisphosphonates:

Generic Name Brand Name
alendronate Fosamax
etidronate Didronel
ibandronate Boniva
risedronate Actonel
risedronate with calcium carbonate Actonel with Calcium
zoledronic acid Reclast

Serious problems with bone healing, particularly after dental surgery, have been found in some people taking bisphosphonates.4 If you are taking bisphosphonates and need dental surgery, talk with your doctor.

I work for an oral surgeon & the strongly suggest staying away from these medications especially the ones given by IV.

Here is a dental website that has alittle mor info:

Thanks for your experiences and info. I have decided not to even try them. One of the big side effects is jaw pain and I already have really bad TMJ problems. I've also had other joint pain issues and been worked up for arthritis and MS, and I don't need anymore of those issues!!

I already have to be careful with calcium timing since I can't take it within 4 hrs of my thyroid meds...so I take some in the afternoon and some at night.


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