Worries about alendronic acid

Posted , 39 users are following.

Hi everyone.I am new to this forum.I started taking Alendronic acid for the first time yesterday.I have had a bone density scan which shows i have oesteoporosis.I am 59 years old,considered myself quite fit until last June,I have read the side effects of these tablets and what other people have put about them.I am quite scared about taking anymore.I felt fine yesterday after taking mu first tablet,but today I feel lousy.Everywhere aches,just dont feel right.Has anyone else experienced side effects after just one tablet.look forward to anyones comments.

8 likes, 75 replies

75 Replies

  • Posted

    I took alendronic acid for less than 6 months, I hated it so much! I didn't actually get side effects but I just didn't trust a drug that you have to wash down with so much water and then stay upright for 30 mins in case it burns your oesophagus. And then there's the worry about necrosis of the jaw with invasive dental work... I know it's rare but I have to have loads of dental treatment and didn't want to take the risk. I have read loads of negative comments about this drug... so in the end I just stopped taking it and my GP put me on Protelos (strontium ranelate) which works in a different way to help you build bone. Unfortunately it's very expensive so the NHS isn't keen, and recently there's a scare about slightly raised risk of heart attack on it (which I'm happy to take). I do sympathise with you – at the moment it doesn't seem there's an ideal drug out there for something that affects probably 60%+ of women – and some men, too.
  • Posted

    Hi Sue

    Thankyou for sharing your comments about alendronic acid.If it can have such an effect by just taking one tablet,dont think I will be taking anymore.I havent heard one positive comment about this drug.I will going back to my GP.For the last two days I have felt absolutely shattered,its not like me to feel so tired.Im usually on the go all the time.I thought about just getting some multivitamins or cod liver oil,I have been told that is good for your joints.Thanks once again. Denise.

  • Posted

    Go and have a look at the national osteoporosis society's website. They have a forum where this sort of thing is discussed. I think you should revisit your GP because what you also need is calcium and vitamin d3 for your bones. Most GPs prescribe calcichew which combines the two. Some GPs, alas, are not very well informed about osteoporosis so we need to educate ourselves! Good luck. It is very shocking when you're first diagnosed.
  • Posted

    Hi Sue,

    Thankyou for your advice,its very much appreciated.


  • Posted

    Hi I have recently been told I have signs of osteoporosis and have now taken alendronic acid tablets for 6 weeks. My GP warned me that some people don't get on with the tablets but so far not too bad - just a metallic taste but that's got to be better than crumbling bones. I remember my grandmother's suffering and that makes me want to take something to prevent it. I am 62 and she lived to be 90 so I am glad to have been diagnosed early as a result of a visit to an osteopath. I have never broken any bones but suffer with back pain and he suggested a dexa scan

  • Posted

    Hi all. Does any one know about jaw bone scans, to see if using Alendronic Acid (AA) over time has affected the quality / density of the jaw bone? (This isn't the same as having an x-ray).

    I have been using AA for eight years and in the last 1-2 years I have been having numerous dental problems: Fillings needed, teeth removal (none removed before the first one this year) and general poor gum / teeth probs...

    I could be going through a 'bad patch', but I looked into the side effects of using AA and dental issues are flagged up frequently, even in the drug leaflets that come with the prescription.

    Personally, having read up now on numerous serious side effects, I've decided to stop using AA.. But I'd still like to know if a bone density scan is possible for the jaw.. Since any tooth removal can be apparently be very risky, if the jaw has deteriorated due to AA... I saw a reference about this issue, on one of the several AA forum discussions here, but there were no details I believe.

    My dentist and several GPs know nothing of this jaw test, and they didn't seem particularly concerned either, unfortunately!

    Thanks if anyone can advise.

    • Posted

      There is a blood test you can have prior to extractions to check the risk;

      it is called 3Y CTX. If the result is less than 150 then it is safe. 

      My GP did not know about this and thanked me and was passing it along.

      The information came from an oral surgeon.

    • Posted

      Hey I heard you should not be on it more than 5 years.....

  • Posted

    Hi there.i haven't heard about the jaw test either.i only took alendronic acid for about a month and decided to stop because i was having chronic indigestion and pains in my joints.since stopping taking them i have had no more of these problems.i hope someone can give you some more information about the jaw test.
  • Posted

    Hi Denise

    Thanks a lot for your reply.

    If you're happy to say, I wonder if you're using any other medication, now you've stopped AA, like I have?

  • Posted

    Just trying again:

    Does anyone know of any ‘jaw bone scan’ that can be done to check bone density in jaw bone, after using Alendronic Acid for many years? Thanks a lot if you do and can advise…

    I have a GP appt next week and want to discuss this with her, as although I’ve decided to come off AA, after reading up on it a lot and being shocked by side effects, I have been having many dental problems in the last couple of years, and am a bit concerned about the possible health of my jaw bone.

    My dentist knows nothing about a scan for the density / quality. Only about ordinary X-rays that will just show the height of the jaw bone (which shrinks down with age, naturally.

    Thanks all.

  • Posted

    I think you are confusing things here. The issue with AA and dental problems is that a very rare condition called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), when an area of jaw bone dies off, can result after invasive dental treatment if you are taking AA. Some dentists will not treat you (for instance carry out an extraction) if you have been taking AA, others think the risk is so tiny they don't worry. It's partly up to you if you take the risk. AA will not affect your jaw bone on a long-term basis so there's no point in monitoring the density even if you could. I have always had dental problems no matter how I try to look after my teeth, nothing to do with AA (which incidentally I do not take any more because I don't like it).

    Be aware that if you stop taking AA, the better alternative, Protelos, or strontium ranelate, may be about to be taken off the prescribable drug list in the UK because they've just decided it has a minute risk of increasing heart attacks. Just when I was getting used to it...

  • Posted

    Thanks a lot Sue... This is reassuring.

    However, my reading around AA (including warnings in some of the drug packets themselves) seems to give a strong suggestion that using AA long term, has a high risk of affecting the quality of the jaw bone and dental health in general...that can in extreme cases, lead to Osteonecrosis of the jaw.. I may be wrong and I hope I am, for the sake of the huge number who have been prescribed AA!!

    And of course, all of us are different and some bodies react differently, and some have better teeth due to luckier genetics etc! ... But I have understood that AA can possibly affect the blood supply to the jaw, so leading to weakening in general in that area and small amounts of teeth loosening being more likely to occur around the base of teeth. (You only need a tiny amount of loosening to invite infection and therefore disease, of course)..

    I've been using AA for nine years. And I'm pretty unhappy that the specialist in a top teaching hospital only suggested coming off only this year, as I've read that it's now suggested to come off after five years.

    I only looked into side effects of AA following my excessive dental problems recently. But came off it a month ago, not only because of the teeth issue, but because of all the other dreadful side effects, and because I reckoned I had been left on it far too long anyway! But in the last couple of years, I have had numerous fillings and several extractions after never having had a tooth out before. And my jaw / mouth often just doesn't feel that healthy. My dentist reckons I care for my teeth and gums very well and I have a pretty good diet.

    If I could afford it, I would go to a medial herbalist and use herbs to strengthen the bone.

    Thanks also for the heads up about strontium ranelate, as I had considered that. I was going to research side effects for that too, before accepting...

    • Posted

      Please, please, please Paws -- do NOT take strontium ranelate either!  I've been taking it for 5-6 years and just now figured out that my awful dental problems (sore jaws that my dentist said were from "grinding my teeth," receeding gums, loosening teeth), sore knee and ankle joints, as well as more recent heart pains may be caused by strontium ranelate.  I've never taken AA because I heard and read that SR had almost no side effects -- for the five-year trial period.  The side effects, in general came on slowly, so I thought they were just old age (I'm 62 years old).  However, the jaw issue came on much more quickly (within the past year), and I myself didn't make the connection until I asked my doctor what the side effects of strontium ranelate were -- and she said there was low risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw.  I'm well aware that researchers still deny the connection, saying it's sometimes associated with AA but that there's "no evidence" of a connection with SR.  Don't you believe it. I really wish I'd known earlier.  There's no evidence simply because they've not studied it yet -- I guess the drug is too new for seriously long-term study.  I only hope you read this before you begin.  Try something herbal and/or nutritional.  Good luck ...
  • Posted

    Hi everyone I am new to this forum, in November I had a fall and had severe back pain, x-rays showed no problem then I had an MRI which confirmed I had osteoporosis with compression fracture of t4, my GP put me on Alendronic acid 70mg once a week. Problems started after first dose, aching joints, second dose symptoms started in the middle of the night waking me from sleep. When it came to week three symptoms started the day before medication was due, severe joint and muscle pains, three days later and no change. I called my GP and told her the response I got was " I have not heard of this before, I will have to call an osteoporosis specialist ". I work for the NHS and they have been very supportive, I had to take three months off because of pain and I am now on phase return. I did six hours today but my symptoms just got worse as the day progressed so much o that I have had to call in sick for tomorrow. I work as a housekeeper in intensive care unit this is a very physically demanding job for which I am now in fear of losing because of medication that is supposed to help. Do these symptoms go after you stop taking the medication ?
    • Posted

      Hi scooby62, did you get better? am asking because my husband ( a previously very fit, active, healthy 59yr old) took just 1 dose of 70mg alendronic acid and 15hrs later suddenly developed such severe back muscle pain and spasms that he collapsed screaming and crying in pain. Paramedic said he had seen 1 case of same reaction in 5 years.Completely incapacitated and bed bound for 3 days on tramadol and diazepam before able to begin mobilising with crutches.  Now day 6 feels so unwell he is in despair and feels that his life has been ruined by this drug! I have since found so many terrifying stories about the effects of this drug, how can the GP say it's unuusual/rare whilst agreeing that there can be no other cause for my husbands conditon

      Did you find anything that helped?

      Is there anything he can do to remove this poison and it's effects from his system? 

    • Posted

      They have a half life so they do continue relative to how long you took the drug for.

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