Been prescribed Alendronic acid 70mg

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I am 62, had an early menopause (started age 34).  Have had 'disc' operations, suffer with arthritis and osteoporosis.  My lastest bone scan showed a significant increase in loss of bone density, especially in my legs.  My GP prescribed AA 5 weeks ago but I have been frightened to take it after reading varying reports on it.  I saw my GP again today and he convinced me to start taking AA from tomorrow. I am still worried and do not know what to do.  

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  • Posted

    Hi Jean, I am 41 and after 2 breaks I had a bone density test and was diagnosed with osteopenia. Due to my age they recommended AA tablets. Like yourself I read up on the reviews and side affects and was not sure whether to start taking. However I started 5 months ago and so far not a single side affect. My view was to give it a try and I could always stop if the side affects started. It is a bit of a pain though having to stand up for half an hour after taking without any food or drink but it's just once a week for me. Hope this helps!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.  There are so many conflicting views on AA.  I am pleased to hear that you are doing okay on it, however I am still so undecided.  Have you had any burning sensations when swallowing?  I lost a wonderful brother-in-law to cancer of the oesophagus and have seen reports that AA can cause it (that was not why he had it).  Also, I am worried about the potential damage to the jaw bone.  I will keep on researching but thank you once again for your reply
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    • Posted

      Dear Jean, not so much conflicting views, as everyone owns their body and decides what to do.  My advice is not to spend too much time researching effects, keep on this forum, and talk to the Nat Osteo Society.  Diet and exercise are so important, important anyway  I have seen absolutely nothin that indicates AA can cause cancer.  damage to jaw, go and have a chat with your dentist, he will need to know anyway if you are taking AA to plan treatment.
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    • Posted

      Debbie, I am very pleased you have had no side effects and I appreciate that because of your age an perhaps other reasons it was important you receive drug therapy.  But I think I should point out for the benefit of others that alendronic acid has been shown to stay in the bones for at least ten years (hasn't been researched further) so for those who do react adversely to the drug it may not be quite as simple to reverse bad effects as ceasing treatment. 

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    • Posted

      No issues swallowing at all. I do take with a large glass of water though. I wasn't aware of potential jaw issues but have since been diagnosed with TMJ... Although not sure related. Hopefully not!

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    • Posted

      The swallowing and conditions like TMJ are some of the reasons I refuse to take these drugs. There are so many problems associated with them. My sister has tried a few and each one has been a disaster. ONJ is an even worse threat.
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  • Posted

    I felt the same but evhas entually plucked up courage to take it and am glad I did. A scan 3  years later shown excellent results. All my scores improved and ony 1 is now below average for my age. Hope you get on with it too
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    • Posted

      Helen, please be aware that you are reaching the optimum time for taking this drug before a drug holiday may be advised.  There is a tipping point where the improvement plateaus and adverse effects begin to mount, for the reason I pointed out in another post - old bone cells have not been removed as they are in the normal way, and so the bones will become more brittle as time goes by.  The reason AA and similar drugs "work" is because with oseoporosis bone construction has not kept pace with bone rebuilding, hence bone thinning.  The drugs inhibit the removal of the old bone cells which means the bone building increases.  So the very reason the drugs work and can be so very important in helping people with seriously low bone mass is also the reason they can't be taken indefinitely.  This is why I'm constantly advising people, whether they take bone meds or not, to please eat the right foods and take the right supplements to promote bone health, as well as doing whatever appropriate exercise is safe and comfortable for them.  The bone meds will give you a boost at the beginning, but the other strategies can be carried on indefinitely with no side effects, except improved health!

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  • Posted

    Hi Jean, 

    First off, AA has to be taken standing up, on an empty stomach, with a full glass of water AND REMAIN STANDING FOR AT LEAST HALF AN HOUR.  Same time, day every weekThat is assuming you have been given the 70mg tablet.  So you might want to think about what day would be best for you. While I took it, it was early on Sunday mornings.  I am sure that everyone on this forum would like to read about the arguments your doctor gave you that persuaded you to start taking it.  Some people tolerate it, others don't others prefer to try a 'natural healthy' approach that will mean lifestyle changes.  I have given address and contact details for the National Osteoporosis Society below.  It is your choice ultimately.  You will get good advice here, everyone is different.

    https://nos.org.uk/

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  • Posted

    It depends on what your bone density is, and whether you have ever had any fragility fractures.  It is perfectly possible to reverse bone thinning through diet, supplements and exercises and my feeling it that except in dire cases this should be the first line of treatment, not bone meds.  If you are starting AA please also do everything else you can to treat your bones naturally as that can do nothing but good and should enable you to get the most benefit from the bone meds.  Also, be aware that new recommendations suggest no longer than two years on AA, as the incidence of side effects increases, and also the new bone being created begins to lose strength and become brittle as normal bone remodelling has been disrupted by AA.
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  • Posted

    They cannot force you. It is your decision. My GP understands that. Half her patients have refused to take it. I baulked at it even after filling the script. I have problem discs too as well as arthritis and mild scoliosis so I can relate to your predicament. 

    I have never had a result for my legs. That seems unusual. My back is bad with the worst being -4.3 nearly a year ago. 

    There are some things you can do to help your bones.

    The obvious ones are calcium and vitamin D3. Another good one is K2 because it aims the calcium at the bones. Some can be gained from the diet so foods to have include leafy greens, prunes, avocados, skin of cucumbers, bone broth, fish, etc.

    Any tscore that is not in the osteoporosis range should not even be considered for the drugs as they are not mild drugs.

    It still must be the decision of the individual. You weigh up everything and then decide after much research. 

    What are your tscores?

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    • Posted

      Hi everyone.  My post is being moderated again as included a link to THE NATIONAL OSTEOPOROSIS SOCIETY.  I looked at their homepage, it has been updated, says that 1 in 2 women, 1 in 5 men over 50 will break a bone, but doesn't actually say this is due to osteoporosis. kathleen and Anhaga have, as usual given the best, brilliant advice, 'and also the new bone being created begins to lose strength and become brittle as normal bone remodelling has been disrupted by AA' (from Anhaga), this means that it doesn't 'prevent' fractures) and (from Kathleen on  diet).The obvious ones are calcium and vitamin D3. Another good one is K2 because it aims the calcium at the bones. Some can be gained from the diet so foods to have include leafy greens, prunes, avocados, skin of cucumbers, bone broth, fish,  My beef with AA is the cost to the NHS (in UK), individuals (UK and elsewhere) and the fact it isn't actually proven, is it luck you take AA and don't get a fracture?  And Jean, Calcium and D3 in UK normally prescribed for osteoporosis, I take that, and 'strong' B compound plu Thiamine (also prescribed).  My GP surgery wholly supportive of my decision not to take.  I do believe a few rays of sunshine are showing themselves, and that's a good idea too, snatch it while you can. 

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  • Posted

    I understand totally, apart from Osteoporosis and arthritis, I also have Barretts Oesophagus and thought "Mmm not a bright idea to put something into my stomach containing the word ACID" I spoke to my consultant at Rheumotology who suggested the yearly infusion ( not sure if that is the correct word) anyway I had the yearly one about 6 weeks ago. It takes only about half an hour or so, personally I had no after effects, it is done in the hospital, but hey ho only once a year.

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