I'm 19 and a brittle asthmatic - I tend to have pretty constant symptoms and spend far too much time in hospital! I am training to be a doctor as at least that way I'm always in the right place when an attack strikes!

I had a pretty severe attack in August - I wasn't intubated but spent a good 10 days in ICU and another two weeks in hospital. Whilst I was there, my consultant put me on Calcichews... he said that because I take pred daily, and have done for a couple of years, that I was more likely to develop osteoporosis... is this right? Am I not too young???

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!!

11 Replies

  • Hey!

    I'm 17 and i've been on calcichew (and long term pred) for just over a year now. Its because taking pred long term makes you more likely to get osteoporosis so the calcichew is there to lessen the risk- i think.

    Hope that kinda helped.

    Emma x

  • Hey!

    I was put on to calcichew things becuase of being on and off predisolone but since being in hospital and coming out i havent been given them so i think i will have to ask if i am still meant to be taking them or not as currently i aint, but the consultants do seem to give them for people being on predisolone but personally i cant stand the taste of them they make me feel sick. But that could just be i associate them with milk and milk triggers my asthma off.

    Yes i think people on predisolone are often told to take calcichew.


  • Prevention is better than cure

    Yes, being on long-term (or frequent intermittent courses of) prednisolone puts you at risk of osteoporosis, no matter what your age.

    Calcium +/- vitamin D is first line in primary prophylaxis (prevention) of osteoporosis. Some people also take bisphosphonates such as aledronate or risedronate.

    So yes - you should take them, and your consultant is right!

    Best of luck for your training.

  • Hi Lottie, I have been on steriods for donkeys years and yes it is a good idea that you take Calichew. But another alternative might be Fosamax if your gp willing to prescribe it. I hated calcichew, tasted yuck. With Fosamax you take it once a week, look it up and if you prefer the idea see if GP interested in prescribing.

    Good luck


  • Hello,

    Fosamax is different to calcichew, Adcal D3 etc.

    Fosamax is a drug which helps to force the calcium back into the bones so you will also need to take some form of extra calcium & Vit D too.

    There are a few calcium & Vit d tablets available. I take adcal D3 which is a chalky horse pill slightly fruity flavoured but tollerable plus Fosamax.

    Please chat with your GP about this. It was 8 years before I was given any bone protectors. I had Osteoporosis but this has been reduced to osteopenia now with the help of bone protectors over 10 years.


  • Hi

    I am on pred and have been since May, I take Calcichew D3 and Alendronic acid (taken once a week). I hate the calcichew even though they are either lemon or orange flavour, its like eating grit lol...But my GP said its better to prevent things happening....

    Take care

  • PLease Please Please take your calcichew and bone protectors regularly if prescribed. I didn't thinking that because it wasn't a drug for my lungs it was the one thing i could rebel against and not take beacause not taking it wasn't going to kill me.

    I now have osteoporosis. I have had constant rebreaking fractures of both tibias for 15 months am in constant pain and have to use a wheelchair.

    I am 32.

    So they may taste disgusting (calcium) or be a real pain to take( risidronate, avoiding food for 30mins etc) but taking them is a lot easier than dealing with the consequences of not taking them.

  • Well after all that information you have convienst me to start eating the icky calcium tablets again. Thank you for explaining why they should be taken when you on long term Pred.


  • Thank you all for your replies, they were very helpful, and yes, I agree, Calcichew is YUUCK!

    Just one last question... I've been on full term pred for two years now - how come I wasn't prescribed them before? Could it have done me any harm?

    I've seen my consultant a few times since, but hadn't asked about them, but suddenly wondered why I was taking them and came on here...

  • I have been intrigued by this thread. Initially I was put on calcichew, but because I complained so much (!), I was changed to Actonel, which I take once a week. However, I take it instead of calcichew, rahter than as well as. Does this mean that I am still at risk of osteoporosis, as several of you have suggested that you should be on both? My new consultant has never changed it, and neither have hospital doctors ever commented on it when I have been admitted, but perhaps they weren't looking.

  • I think it is preferable to be on both a biphosphonate bone mending tablet and also suplementary Calcium & Vitamin D especially if you are unable to have dairy products.


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