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Alendonic Acid - No Bonescan?

It would seem that if a person is over 65yrs and on Pred then Alendronic Acid is prescribed as a matter of course (after any necessary dental treatment), on the assumption that bone density will have been affected.

Dunno whether this is UK general policy or just Welsh HA policy.

Hubby not happy about taking medication withouth the need being proved.

10 Replies

  • jones10939

    Think it is general UK HA policy.  My doctor tried to sell it to me as a wonder drug without mentioning the possible side effects.  After a few months and reading a few posts here I decided to stop taking it.

  • jones10939

    I'm in Canada, my doctor wondered out loud whether she should prescribe AA when I started pred but talked herself out of it.  Later I asked for and got a DXA scan which showed low bone mass (incorrectly interpreted by doctor as osteoporosis) and she then definitely wanted me to take AA.  By then I'd done a lot of reading and refused and she wasn't particularly insistent, I think she was just worried about me.  So not really prescribed without thought, but definitely top of mind.

  • jones10939

    No your husband should not take AA "just in case".  He needs to have a DXA scan first and even if the results are borderline he probably can manage any bone effects of pred without medication - a number of us on the forums have successfully improved our t-scores without osteoporosis meds.  If your husband wants more information about how we've done this you can find my account by googling healthunlocked my osteoporosis journey.  

  • jones10939

    I'm with your husband on that! I know 2 ladies in their late 70s/early 80s who have better bone density than me even after being on pred without any medication for more than 5 years. 

    It probably does say something like that in some guidelines or other but I think it is appalling - they are working on old assumptions. Our generation of 60-somethings bears little relationship to that of their mothers.

    It is possible to have dexascans done privately though I don't know where in Wales - where are you? But why not take your husband with you and inform the GP you won't take it without being able to make an informed decision. AA should only be taken for 3 years to avoid the risk of the more unpleasant side effects - it makes more sense to keep it for if it really is needed, the concept of taking it "just in case" on the basis of an assumption that is false I find utterly disgusting.

    I am really getting irritated by the polypharmacy being forced on us by the doctors which in some cases is unnecessary. I am now almost 66, have had PMR for 14 years and been on pred for 9 years. After well over 7 years on pred my bone density was only slightly lower than it was at the outset and still well in acceptable range.

    • Sorry - brain wasn't in gear! Men do develop low bone density but it is far less common than in women - so there is even more reason to have a dexascan to see if he needs it. If women don't have problems even without AA, men are even less likely to. It's one thing taking AA when you have osteoporosis - but really unadvisable if it is OK. 

  • Thanks people - I've done some reading around.

    As far as exercise goes he does not attend the gym but has a shed/workshop where he maintains two motorbike and two classic tractors as well as working on various sized items and doing a little blacksmith and wrought ironwork on a small homemade forge.

    All this involves much moving around and bending/streching with and without resistance.

    As for the "jolting treatment" - nothing better than driving a 1960s Nuffield tractor (seat fairly primitive).

    Today he's gone to Wrexham on the larger motorbike (Ptolemy might well approve).

    Not sure re private bonescan, we'll have to make enquiries but if he has a hospital appointment in near future he's going to strongly object to prescribing without testing.

    Since he's not had a dentist appointment yet there'll be no prescription anyway.

  • jones10939

    Hi jones, my doctor here in the mountains of New Mexico, send me for a bone density scan as soon as I prescribed Prednisone. Been on Prednisone two years now, going another scan tomorrow morning. The results will determine the next step. I do take calcium, vit D3, magnesium, vit K2 and MSM. Looking forward to the results and skiing in the winter.

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