Risedronate: On Monday I had my FeNO... - Asthma Community ...

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Wheezycat profile image
11 Replies

On Monday I had my FeNO test. It was with the really good asthma nurse at the surgery. There was a suggestion I could replace my Fostair 200/6 with the Forstair !00/6 so that I could be more flexible. At present I use half the dose in summer, full dose in winter. I am well, have been remarkably so for some time, so it is a good thing to refect on whether I could reduce my overall dosage. But then again it could be the dosage that is keeping me so well. It is a conundrum.

However, yesterday I received two text messages from the surgery, one saying they want to send me for a bone density test (yes, please!), and the second one suggesting I also start taking Risedronate to prevent development of osteoporosis. I am 73. My age was not cited as the main reason but that I have been on high doses of steroids over that last few years . (I know many on here are far higher than me). Nothing about me suggests my bone density is lowering, but of course you normally discover it if you start breaking bones, and I don't want that. So part of me is very appreciative they have flagged up a potential issue, but the other part is frightened of this drug.

Has anyone on here taken it, and how has it affected you if at all? I would be interested to hear. The whole thing came rather out of the blue.

11 Replies
Lysistrata profile image

I don't know much about risedronate, but while some bone protection is definitely good given steroids and age, would it make more sense to get the results of the test first if you're concerned about this specific drug? Or can you ask to discuss the reasoning with a GP? It might be that that's the best option for you anyway, but I feel like it might at least be helpful to know what their thinking is and what other options for bone protection are. (It definitely is good to have something in place before you break anything though - I have a friend in her 20s with severe osteoporosis and fractures from steroids because she asked and asked and asked for bone protection and was ignored).

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to Lysistrata

Thank you, Lysistrata! I am not sure about this versus any other drug in this matter, but I fully intend to approach in the way you suggest. I just got the text message last night so I haven't got to it yet, but I really do need to know their thinking better. They did send a. link to the NHS medication explanation. My concern is two fold ( or thereabouts). My mother once was on such a drug. she lived in Sweden and I have no idea of the name, but this weekly protocol and the purpose sounds much the same. But it was probably 20-25 years ago. She got terrible stomach pain, worse each time she took one, so she really had to stop - and she never broke anything, thankfully, until she died. But my wariness certainly stems from that time. I do have a sensitive gut so that worries me. And there were at least 2 other things under side effects I need to understand better.

Beader3 profile image
Beader3 in reply to Wheezycat

I took Fosamax once a week, apx 20 years ago. Each pill gave me more heartburn pain. I was then switched to once a month pill when that version was available. Each pill created worse heartburn. The month that I had 3 FULL days of heartburn, I could think of nothing else, breathing burned,…, barely slept…Nothing relieved it, was the last Fosamax that I took.

Side note, my Mom was also on Fosamax. Eventually she also stopped. We both had bone scans & there was bone rebuilt after using it.

Mom had a couple of minor bumps that resulted in breaks, Then one day her ankle shattered. She had a plate & 6 screws used in the repair. Mom has passed now, her ankle repair was well-done, but not without places where her shoe rubbed.

Poobah profile image

I agree with Lysistrata, get the test done and then decide whether to take the Risedronate. You could also consider getting your vitamin D levels checked, but GP may not do this, they're easily available through private companies for about £30. Whether you take Risedronate or not, it's good to keep one's vit D levels up.

If covid taught us one thing, it's that vitamin D plays an important role in the well being of our immune system and we know it's a vital factor in keeping our bonebones in good condition. Weight bearing exercise is also vital for good bone health and walking is the best.

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to Poobah

Good point! I asked for such a check perhaps 4-5 years ago, and it turned out I was depleted more or less of this vitamin, so I was immediately put on a very strong dose for some weeks. These days I take the OTC ones regularly, but having a check is probably a good idea. My surgery normally is helpful in blood tests, but if not on this occasion, do you know the name of any private company that does this?

As for getting the check done first, like you both have suggested, that is very much my thinking. Unfortunately my communicating back my concerns, it will all most likely be done online, or at best a phone call.

Anselm198 profile image

I am actually on Risedronate and have taken it for years with no problems. I had my bone density test first and was then started on the drug. How do you know if you need it if you are already on it.They then did a follow up bone density but that was about 18 months later.

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to Anselm198

A good point! And I will use that when I contact the GP.

tabbyjade profile image

I used ventolin for asthma with one hospital admission, and often needed courses of prednisone for recurrent lung infections, over a period of 40 years. I am now on Combisal which gives me some relief. In July this year I suffered a compression fracture of a lower thoracic vertebra after turning over in my sleep. My rib cage dropped as a result and now compresses abdominal organs leading to digestive and bladder problems, and affects my breathing. My bone density tests were always normal up to six months before this. Any movement, walking or household tasks, leaves me short of breath until I rest. I was already taking D3 daily now replaced with CalciD and was prescribed Risedronate. Having read the contraindications and the NHS guidelines, I decide not to take it. I have acid reflux and digestive problems, and the asthma-related coughing and swallowing issues were clearly contraindications, not to mention my age - 82 - considering the long time lag on any useful response to the drug. Despite these considerations, my GP tried to persuade me to ‘just try taking one tablet’ as a start which I refused to do. I have not been referred at all for the osteoporosis. So Wheezycat you will have to consider your options once you have had the test and considered the contraindications. I wish you all the best and hope you avoid any fractures,

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to tabbyjade

I cert certainly will! Those side effect questions are indeed on my list to raise with the GP, including at least one I can't have the answer to myself.

Wimple profile image

I have confirmed osteoporosis and have broken 3 bones in the last 18 months. biphosphonates like risondrate are the first port of call for treatment. I have tried very hard to get an alternative prescribed since I had severe heartburn when trying alendronate, ( another biphosphonate) but was turned down at every point- by the hospital and the GP. I was pushed into taking risondrate sodium 5mg daily as the smallest dose to avoid upsetting my stomach- and now I’m having episodes of severe heartburn again. My GP suggested taking Omeprazole to control the acid, but I want to tackle the root cause and find a better treatment, like an infusion or an oestrogen receptor modulator. I agree with others who’ve responded that you should see what the density scan says first before making a decision on medication. The Royal Osteoporosis Society’s website is an excellent source of information about treatments.

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to Wimple

Thank you for your reply! It is helpful. I am on Pantoprazole already, as I was put on these (Omeprazole) as a constant after I was suddenly admitted to hospital with my asthma, now a few years ago. It was ut of the blue, and I had no history, so one doctor asked if I ever get heartburn - did a little bit then, but could manage fine with Rennies. It was thought that could be a factor why I, as I then 67 year old, suddenly seemed to get a more significant asthma attack. Basically I have been on it since to reduce the risk of hear burn being a cause of worsening asthma.

I have now found that Risodronate is already on my repeat prescription list, though I haven't collected any yet. I will contact the GP with a collection of questions before taking any of it.

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