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Osteoporosis Message Board


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After reading all of your posts it seems to me that the two big drugs for osteo.- fosomax and actenol are really horrible for us. Almost everyone on this board got terrible side affects . Also, some said that these pills did not even help them even with the side affects. My question is- Can anyone take these pills without the gastro and esophagial distress? It seems that some of you still have these side affects even after taking the pills. This is just a terrible thing. SO what are we suppose to do about bone loss if the meds. that are suppose to help us make us sicker? It just does not seem right that there are not any other choices. This is the reason that I am going to a doctor that deals in alternative medicines. I know that he believes in liquid calcium plus other minerals as well. I am told that he makes a program for your particular problem. SInce my options are very limited, I am hoping that this will be a right decision. However, if I would hear that some people can take these meds without any problems, then I would feel more comfortable in trying them. But, as I said, I just have not seen that here.
I took one weekly dose of Actenol...never again. I got a slight headache (nothing big...I normally get migraines anyway), upset stomach, gas, achey feeling and heartburn...but in the afternoon I was nauseated, ears ringing, sweating, and felt like I was going to burn up...I passed out cold. Scared my co-workers to death, not to mention my family. I ended up in the ER getting all kinds of tests done. Doc said to quit taking it. I'm still trying to get this dose out of my system...still have the headache and the dizzyiness. My mother took Fosomax but the muscle cramps were so bad she had to quit...we're both just taking calcium now.
[QUOTE=Mollymalone;410047]The first Fosomax I took was the "Once a Week" dosage. I took it first thing in the morning, with 2 or 3 giant glasses of water, and I did not lie down after swallowing it. I took my shower, got ready for work, etc etc, went to work...in about 3 hours I thought I was going to have to go home. Oh my gosh - it was like FIRE!! I had someone run to a store and grab me a half gallon of milk, which I drank to try to soothe my stomach and intestines. I will NEVER, EVER take the once a week dose again. You couldn't pay me to take it. It was like a liquid volcano that went through my body.

Next I tried the once a day dose. I got up in the morning, took it with a giant glass of water, drank another glass of water in about 10 minutes, and did the same as before - take my shower and get ready for work. Now, that didn't really bother me. After a few weeks of it, another doctor told me to not take it because he's trying to reverse the osteoporosis in another way (by getting my thyroid under control). So I quit.

Last week I discovered a loose tooth. A loose tooth? Me? I'm 60, for Pete's sake! I called the dentist in a panic and told him about the newly discovered osteoporosis. He told me to get in there the very next day for an X-ray. I did. The X-ray told the bad news. I have bone loss even in my jaw. Holy cow. Am I going to start losing my teeth, too? Well, I called my regular family doctor and told her about the loose tooth and she gave me a scrip for the daily Fosomax and agreed that maybe I'd better go back on it.

I get up, go right to the kitchen and pour a giant glass of ice water into which I've put a few tablespoons of lemon juice. I take the Fosomax with the entire glass of water, pour another glass of water, go to the garage and walk on the treadmill for a few miles, then go take my shower, dry my hair, put on my makeup, etc etc, all the time taking more swallows of the water until the second glass is gone. I usually pour a third glass of water and drink it, too. I have had no problems doing it this way.

The doctor treating my thyroid problem told me Fosomax and Actonel are both horrible, and that he wishes there were something better for us women with osteoporosis. My choice is to take Fosomax, mainly because of the bone loss in my jaw. I've talked to two women who have taken it for a year and who have both seen a great deal of improvement in their bone mineral density. I just feel like I have to try it and see if it won't help the bone loss in my jaw. I've accepted gray hair and some wrinkles - I don't know about losing my teeth. That's a hard one to accept.[/QUOTE]

I have mostly posted on the Forteo threads, because I was taking that drug for two years. I have just finished with it (it's only approved for use for 2 years) and I am about to start on Actonel this weekend. It was always the plan for me to go on to Fosamax or Actonel after the Forteo. I know several people taking the drug with no side effects, but I'm plenty nervous.

I'm only writing because there have been a number of posts on these boards about a rare problem with Fosamax and the bisphosphonate (?) class of drugs which involves jaw bone loss. I understand the problem is more commonly found in people who have had chemotherapy. I don't know much about it, but if you are not seeing an endocrinologist with a lot of experience with these drugs, you might want to consult with one to make sure Fosamax is not the problem.
Spinewhine,
Let us know how you do with the Actonel. I was using Forteo because i couldn't tolerate the bisphosphonates. I'm still sticking with Calcium and exercise until my DEXA which is in two weeks. It just seems like long term use of the bisphosphonates will eventually cause stomach complications and/or bone pain. Hoping for another alternative soon.
I've just returned from my trip to Cleveland and the Cleveland Clinic with Dr. Licata. I discussed strontium ranelate with him. It is his opinion that this would be a viable alternative to follow up with Forteo, but he doesn't expect FDA approval. He said that strontium citrate was different than the ranelate type and that it was not effective. I'm wondering if strontium ranelate is available in Canada.
[QUOTE=taape;2879219]Spinewhine,
Let us know how you do with the Actonel. I was using Forteo because i couldn't tolerate the bisphosphonates. I'm still sticking with Calcium and exercise until my DEXA which is in two weeks. It just seems like long term use of the bisphosphonates will eventually cause stomach complications and/or bone pain. Hoping for another alternative soon.[/QUOTE]

I was planning to start Actonel on Saturday, but the husband of an elderly friend died and we went to be with her. We are helping with funeral plans and I was afraid to take a drug I'd never taken in case I had the horrible burning heartburn I've heard about. The funeral is tomorrow, so I can't take the drug then either because I have a lot of driving to do. At this point, I guess I'll just wait until next Saturday. I know I'm supposed to take it the same day every week, so I think it will be easier to remember if it's Saturday, and not some weekday when I have to go to work.

I'll certainly check in and let everyone know what, if any, side effects I experience. Of course, I'm hoping for none, but time will tell. I know a number of people on these drugs (as opposed to Forteo, where I knew no one outside of these boards) and so far, they haven't had a problem. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Good luck, Spinewhine! It looks like I am probably going to go on Actonel soon; I'll be finishing up with the Forteo in another week. I took Actonel for a year before I started the Forteo and had no problems with it, so I am hoping it will be the same this time. I prefer to not to have to take anything, but don't want to lose any gains I may have made or have more bone loss. Fosamax scares me, I think mainly due to the long half-life and the fact that so many people on these boards have reported bad side effects with it.
[QUOTE=newbones;2887682]Good luck, Spinewhine! It looks like I am probably going to go on Actonel soon; I'll be finishing up with the Forteo in another week. I took Actonel for a year before I started the Forteo and had no problems with it, so I am hoping it will be the same this time. I prefer to not to have to take anything, but don't want to lose any gains I may have made or have more bone loss. Fosamax scares me, I think mainly due to the long half-life and the fact that so many people on these boards have reported bad side effects with it.[/QUOTE]

Well, I did the deed and swallowed my first Actonel. I have to say, after everything I've read on these boards, it was almost as scary as the first Forteo shot. Anyway, I've survived the first hour. I sort of feel a "ping" of heartburn, but it could be imaginary, since I'm anticipating it. (I also had a big dinner out last night, and that could be the culprit :) )

So far, no major burning sensation, so that's good.
I have taken Fosamax for years - since it first came out. I started with the once a day and now am taking it once a week. I started with full blown Osteoporois and have a Dexa test every two years. There is so much improvement that it is now called Osteopenia. So I have no complaints as it is doing its job. Nor have I ever had any side effects from it. I make sure to drink a full glass of water before having any coffee or anything else for a half hour. It has been a magic pill for me.
I'm in my 8th year of Fosamax and my results duplicate Barb's. Also have several friends on either Fosamax or Actonal with no problems. Unfortunately, with any drug there are those who will suffer side effects and we never know till we try.
Hi All: I thought I would add to the sentiments on bisphosphonates, and as of yet, the only people I've talked to that have probs with them were either here or other similar places. Personally I know at least a dozen or more people that have taken any one of them for years with no probs, and were not even aware of the side effects.

The problems I had with Actonel, were actually bearable, but because it didn't work (no dexa increase) they switched me to Forteo.

I still think if you need to take it you could try it for a while and see what happens. I think if you were going to have the stomach probs etc, they would appear pretty fast. :wave:





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