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Osteoporosis Message Board

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[FONT="Garamond"][SIZE="3"][COLOR="DarkRed"]Hi hchytd: With Actonel some people get the GI side effects, i.e. acid reflux, stomach ache, and esophagus problems, which is why you have to stay upright for 30 minutes after taking it. If your mom hasn't had these problems already, there's a good chance she never will. There is another risk associated with bisphosphonates (fosamax, actonel, boniva, reclast etc) that happens in a very low number of people taking it. Before I explain the problem, the issue is usually seen in the patients taking the iv form of these drugs for bone or cancer treatment. This is a hot button topic, so read what you can on it, but be very careful to understand the number of people that get this problem and the fact that the patients taking the oral form of bisphos's, like your mom, are very low in number for contraction. The problem is called osteonecrosis of the jaw and you can look it up at the previous link I gave you.

Since this is a jaw side effect, your mom needs to tell her dentist that she is taking this med in case she needs to have any teeth extracted. Osteonecrosis is precipitated by oral surgery and or a tooth extraction. Check it out, and follow the recommendations for dental care while on these drugs. You can get a check list from the ADA (American Dental Assoc) that will tell you what precautions *if any* you need to take before having dental surgery.

I don't know the answer to your second question, other than you should know that having one vertebra reading that's lower than another is NOT unusual. As we age many structural changes happen to the discs and vertebra in the spine, that weaken it, so that's just life I guess.

There is most definitely a chance for your mom to go back to a normal score!!! I did it in my spine. My spinal score started out at -3.6 and is now normal. My hip score is still in the osteopenia range, but I don't have a score to compare that to since my first scan was a QCT and they didn't do hip scores for some reason only spines. My first hip score was a little over a year ago, and that was *after* taking Actonel (for a little over a year) and then Forteo for 2 years. I believe the Forteo is the med that made the major improvement in my case, but who knows for sure, it could have been a combo of Actonel, Forteo and HRT (which I took for 10 mos, or more, I think).

Is your mom taking the weekly Actonel or the monthly? Just curious since the monthly is relatively new on the market.

What did her Dr tell her to do for calcium and D? They should have recommended something with the exercises. If not I would ask. The normal recommendation, *if you don't have metabolism probs* is 1,000-1200 mg of calcium (adding up both dietary and supplements to arrive at this total) and 1,000 IU's of vitamin D3. I also take magnesium, vit K2, phosphorous, etc etc which is in my multiple. I'll let the others jump in on their fav's on supplements like good fish oil etc. Ask the Dr which type of calcium he recommends. One can be taken with food and one can't. You need to split up your calcium into divided doses since your body can't metabolizes more than 500 mg at a time. Coral calcium is a waste of money and there are lots of other companies touting special types of cal, so unless she has a fav, just go with what the Dr tells her to. The link I gave you also covers supplements as well, so look there as well. That link can answers tons of questions because it's so comprehensive-guessing it's a hundred pages or more on all things osteo. Check the last update date on the page because they may still have the old recommendations on vit D which used to be 400-800 IU's which isn't enough.

Take your time with the Univ of WA website and Bookmark it, you'll find you'll go back to it over and over. Have you tried the FRAX calculator yet? It's a tool that gives your mom, and you your ten year frax risk based on the answers you input into the calculator. Drs are now suppose to be using this tool to evaluate their patients. Also, check out the FAQ's tab on that site, they explain how they calculate all this stuff and it's very interesting, since each country has different fracture rates.

Here's the Calculator from the World Health Org.


Regarding the above tool, click "Calculation Tool" when you arrive there, then select "Country/Race", and fill in data. Your height and weight needs to be entered in inches and pounds and then you convert it; once it's converted use that number. When you are done you'll get 2 numbers one that say's "major osteoporotic and the other just gives a number. Anyway, the first number (major osteoporotic) is the ten year risk of having a fracture in the [U]spine, hip, forearm, or shoulder[/U], and the second number is the ten year risk for [U]hip fx only[/U].

Good Luck, and if you go to the National Osteoporosis Foundation they have a lot of info on all this as well. They also have an article on Osteonecrosis, Frax tool and many other things.:wave:


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