Biophosphates- Risedronate and letrozole

Hi I am on letrozole for a few years and have been diagnosed with osteoporosis - just over borderline. I tried alendronate but had bad side effects am now trying Risedronate. I just wonder how effective this will be. Does anyone else have experience of these two medications together?

15 Replies

  • Are you sure you need the bisphosphonates? It is possible to improve bone health without drugs, although it is more work - but no side effects.

    Obviously I'm not following the protocol of the research project, but do make sure I'm taking the nutrients needed plus getting appropriate exercise. :)

  • My logic for going on the tablets was because one of the side effects of letrozole is to cause osteoporosis.

  • I'm on prednisone, one of the side effects is to cause bone thinning. To be quite honest I am simply too terrified of the bone meds. I have a gut feeling they would be very harmful to me, but obviously this must not be the case for most people. I have had a second bone density scan but won't get my results for another month. Then I'll be better able to say whether nutrition and exercise have worked for me. There is a gentleman posting here who has gone this route (no meds) and his latest scan showed a remarkable improvement in his bone density. :)

  • I agree with your philosophy and am considering my options!

  • It's not an easy choice, is it? I'm sure you'll make the right one for you. Knowledge is power!

  • I remember reading a post from you suggesting worth reading two articles on biophosphates- benefits and disadvantages. Would it be possible to send me the link or the exact titles of the documents. Apologies if it wasn't you.

  • I've read so much about this issue lately, it's hard to remember what's what! There was something published by Consumers Reports a few years ago. More recently the mainstream media (NY Times?) has printed an item about problems with bisphosphonates. I'll look back through my posts and see if I can find the links.

  • Actually, was it these?

    There may be a problem with some of the links, although they worked for me today. They are newsletters 78, 83 and 84 on this website:

  • Many thanks.

  • Hello again, we chatted ages ago and you were really helpful. I am 51, postmenopausal and have osteoporosis. I was diagnosed 6 years ago. I have been on HRT since March for my bones as I was too frightened to take AA.

    I take Vitamin D3, magnesium and eat a healthy diet. However, I do not take a calcium supplement and am wondering if I'm being really stupid. I'm a bit confused as I've read some negative stuff about calcium supplements. Should I be taking calcium and if so, what type and how much? I would really appreciate any advice as I'm now beginning to worry that I'm leaving out the most important thing.

    Many thanks :)

  • Hi 1965Katy, nice to hear from you. As far as I know calcium supplements are safe but there are a couple of caveats. One is not to take too big a dose at one time, so if you want to take 1000 mg a day you should only take 500 at a time. The other is the importance of Vitamin K2. We do need D so that our bodies absorb the calcium, but we need K2 so that calcium goes into the bones where it belongs. This is what should prevent side effects like kidney stones or even cardiac issues if the calcium is deposited in the wrong places. I also have heard that calcium citrate is considered better than carbonate in that it is more easily absorbed. I think you should be able to find some good info on the internet One thing you might want to keep in mind is the suggestion by one of the bones mavens - get at least half of your calcium through food, mostly leafy greens but of course the usual suspects, dairy products. Too much animal protein can lead to too much phosphorus which then leaches calcium, so that's why getting most of your calcium from milk is not the best policy.

    Please know that this information is only from my own reading, I'm not a medically trained person.

    I don't know if you saw my recent post that I succeeded in improving my t-score from -2 to -1.6 in one year. I'm no longer considered to be in a high risk category, as I was last year, and they are no longer recommending that I take medication. :)

  • Hello HeronNS, hope you don't mind me visiting and replying to your post...I am an 'explorer' from the Health unlocked British Lung Foundation COPD forum and I came here as I am very interested in finding ways of dealing with osteopenia without taking those awful Alendronic acid meds which I was prescribed a few weeks ago, following a Dexa scan showing I have osteopenia. I also have the challenge of being on anti epilepsy meds which I can only reduce a little as they are keeping seizures away, I have also reduced my omeprazole. Both these sets of meds are also linked with osteoporosis risks. Anyway, I liked the way you managed to improve your Dexa results by natural ways and would appreciate some advice on how you did it. Also, do you have to take any longterm meds which are linked with osteoporosis but which you really have to take? Any advice welcome! Stillmovin1

  • I've been taking prednisone for polymyalgia rheumatica. Had the DXA scan three months in (late 2015) because the steroid can have a bone thinning effect, so I have no true baseline from before I started with pred. I take no other medications other than the occasional otc for headache. I'll private message you the account I made of my "osteoporosis" journey - mostly so I could remember what I did/am doing, but it turns out to have been interesting to other people. I was inspired by a friend of mine who went a completely non-drug route, and unlike me was diagnosed with osteoporosis (I have osteopenia) and improved, and continues to improve her bone density, right out of the osteoporosis range!

  • Thanks very much.. I look forward to your PM. Xx

  • ... And don't forget some (gentle) exercise for bone health.

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