Alendronic acid: Hi there I have just been... - Bone Health

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Alendronic acid

garbeth profile image

Hi there I have just been diagnosed with osteoporosis of the spine and osteopenia of the hip, I have been prescribed alendronic acid by my GP but the side affects sound dreadful, can you please help/advise me I am so confused.

19 Replies

Hi garbeth,

Practically all patients dx with OP are prescribed AA and a calcium and Vit D tablet. It is what the GPS are instructed to prescribe in the first instance. If that does not agree with you, you are most likely offered Risedronate tablets which is from the same family of drugs as AA. If they do not agree with you, you will be offered something else. None of the OP drugs sound too great when reading possible side effects, but then most drugs have possible side effects.

Everyone is different and what medication will suit one person will not another. The only way to find out is to try it. Or go down the route of not taking the drugs and instead choosing exercise, diet and supplements route.

It depends how bad your T scores are and if you have fractured/lost height but in the end it is up to everyone to make their own decision.

It is difficult to make a decision and quite honestly I feel it can be a real gamble. There is not enough known about OP and the drugs that are on offer at the moment, long term.

You can always have a chat with a nurse by calling the NOS helpline.

garbeth profile image
garbeth in reply to Kaarina

Thank you for this advice ...I'm not sure what my T scores were being new to it all I didnt ask, I am taking my calcium tablets 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening but still pondering over the AA tablet,

Rosepetal60 profile image
Rosepetal60 in reply to garbeth

Ask for a printed out photocopy to get your results of your Dexa scan. Your surgery may charge you 50p some don't charge anything and I've heard some charge a £1.

Hi again garbeth,

You can always use the Search Box and type in Alendronic Acid and read earlier postings on AA.

I would ask for your T scores before doing anything!

Kaarina profile image
Kaarina in reply to Lynneypin

Request a copy of your dexa report. Your T-scores will be on there. It is your right to have a copy of your report should you so wish.

pattisue profile image
pattisue in reply to Lynneypin

I've just been diagnosed with osteoporosis, but never heard of t scores. What are they, and what is a good/ bad score? Thanks in advance

Kaarina profile image
Kaarina in reply to pattisue

pattisue, I presume you have had a DEXA scan as you have been dx with osteoporosis. You can request your DEXA scan report from your surgery where you will be able to see your t scores. The receptionist should be able to print out a copy for you.

Normal is a T-score of −1.0 or higher. Osteopenia is defined as between −1.0 and −2.5. Osteoporosis is defined as −2.5 or lower, meaning a bone density that is two and a half standard deviations below the mean of a 30-year-old man/woman.

Hope that helps.

pattisue profile image
pattisue in reply to Kaarina

Thanks Karina.i will definitely get a copy from the surgery.


Have had RA for over 40 years and in 2008 developed osteopenia. Over the years I have had every drug available to treat the RA including steroids and methotrexate for over 30 years. Following surgery and chemotherapy in 2006 I required a left ankle fusion to enable me to walk again. In a cast for 4 months and the day after it was removed had a stress fracture of my right fibula! Again required a cast.

It was only at this point that I had my first dexa scan and found to have osteopenia. I was only 54 and having done a lot of research decided to try Alendronic acid. I was confident that my diet was good as I am an enthusiastic cook and health conscious.

Took the drug for 4 years and my subsequent scans done at 2 yearly intervals have been within normal limits. The drug worked for me and side effects were minimal. Please consider your options carefully and take advice from a source you trust. The consequences of osteoporosis can be life changing and should be treated seriously. All drugs have side effects but have to be weighed against the risks of not treating the underlying disease. Hope this helps.

Best wishes Pam

garbeth profile image
garbeth in reply to Pam-51

Thank you Pam for this advice, I am so sorry to hear of your problems I will give your advice some serious thought. Take care Beth

Whether you take medications or not, please also make sure you take all the bone health supplements (not just calcium and D3, but also Vitamin K2, magnesium and a handful of others). Most of these will be available in food, but you will probably need a Vitamin K2 supplement as there isn't much in modern food. (Note, not same as K1). Eat your leafy greens, and get as much appropriate exercise as you can manage! The OP drugs are no longer being recommended to be taken for many years, so best to use them to deal with acute issues of bone thinning, buying yourself time to start working on building your bone health through diet and exercise.

Rosepetal60 profile image
Rosepetal60 in reply to HeronNS

Thank you for the reminder on taking K2

Garbeth, Just over a year ago I too was diagnosed with osteoporosis/osteopenia in the same areas as you. I've had no breaks and at this point I'm choosing to re-build my bone health as naturally as possible.

Heron makes a lot of excellent points, which have worked for her. I suggest lots of reading, for instance Dr Myhill, Save Our Bones, Love Your Bones, Better Bones, Dr Lani's Better Bones. There is a lot of information out there, even if you just glean a little from each source.

Pam51 wisely advised you to consider your options carefully, and I think a lot depends on your T scores. Thankfully mine are still quite low, but if they were not I might consider a short course of drug therapy.

All the best, Lynn

garbeth profile image
garbeth in reply to Lynndeb

Thank you for this.....I still haven't taking it but my GP and the pharmacist were on my case this week again! There is so much conflicting evidence I remain very confused. I am taking the Adcal D3 and was told one is useless without the other. I will look out for those books. Many thanks

Hello ladies, I have received a copy of my DEXA scan results but not sure what they really mean apart from the fact I have osteoporosis in the spine and osteopenia of the hip and neck. My z score of the spine is -1.8 and T score is -3 ..........any further advice would be appreciated.

I would advise think carefully before going down the Alendronic Acid (a bisphonate) route. I have reports from various consultants siting my three fractures

Left femur, one year later right femur , and now spinal fracture) to be bisphonate related.

Jayge profile image
Jayge in reply to Gillymar

What were your t scores before starting AA?

Hello there, thank you for your reply it is appreciated, I'm sorry to hear of your fractures!! I will and am giving it a lot of thought before going down that road. Take care Beth

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