Bone Health
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Alendronic acid

Hello I Had a dexa scan last Dec and the doctor has given me Alendronic acid plus calcium tabs. I have yet to start taking the AA...but feel.i should start I'm worried enough the side effects. I had an early menopause at 45 and have hypersensitivity pnemintus ( diagnosed 3 years ago) so i take steriods several.times a year. Does anyone else take the weekly AA .....jow are you getting on with it?

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Hi cazza I started AA and like you was dreading it as I'm on lansaprazol for indigestion and heartburn already, but I started first couple of times I had pain in my hands and fingers but after a few weeks this wore off I can still get some pain in my fingers but all my fingers have lumps on as I have arthritis like you I was wary of taking it but the alternative of breaking a bone wasn't an option as I care for my son who has learning disabilities I also had very early hysterectomy 39 day after the op so mine is caused through that unfortunately!! Good luck sure you will be fine

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Hi, I have been taking AA for about 12 months now and thankfully have no obvious side effects. Just make sure you stick to the instructions about taking it first thing in a morning and then stay upright for half an hour, I usually wait an hour to be safe. From all I have read on here it’s pot luck whether you will have side effects or not. Good luck, if you have any issues just stop and tell your GP.

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Hi Cazza34! I’ve been taking AS for more than 2 years now following a spontaneous S1 fracture. I’ve had no side effects and my last dexa showed an improvement in my scores (although I broke a rib whilst coughing 5 months ago 😫)

All in all, I have found it satisfactory as long as you follow the instructions, as others have said. I also wait a bit longer than the 30 mins, I wait for about 45/50 mins.

Best of luck and fingers crossed for no more fractures! ❤️

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I'm 70 years old and tried to take these drugs...I almost choked to death. So, I was able to talk my doctor into letting me go on HRT. Unusual at 70, but I am feeling so much better these days. I think these bone meds. are very dangerous.

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Hi sweet susie in what way are the dangerous?

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These are rare side effects, but they were enough to scare me away from them permanently...I tried 2 of them and they both caused me to not be able to swallow. Here's a website that explains the pros and cons:

everydayhealth.com/news/ost...

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Unfortunately all prescribed medications have side effects. True, some more than others. It is a chance one has to take and sometimes there is no option for patients depending on what their condition is.

I was devastated when strontium ranelate was withdrawn last year. It had a list of side effects and there was scaremongering spread about this drug. I was happy to take it and suffered no side effects that I know of. I am devastated it has been withdrawn. Some patients unfortunately greatly suffered when taking this drug.

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You're right about the all drugs having side effects..some people are affect and some are not. I talked my doctor into putting me on HRT (I'm 70) to help build back my bones, as I do have osteoporosis. Only been on them 3 months, so we'll see...anyway, good luck with finding something that works for you..pathetic that they can make a drug to help with men's erectile dysfunction problems, but can't make a drug to help women build back their bones without fracturing their skeletons...

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Osteoporosis is also suffered by men #justsaying

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I'm sure the side effects were nothing like the ones from some of the other drugs, though. No talk of them being withdrawn, nor as far as I can tell even any declaration that Prolia should be reserved as a last ditch treatment. Of course we know there's a revolving door between the FDA and industry, and the FDA has a huge influence on what the companies do which affects more than US residents.

Have you been able to try the strontium citrate?

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I have not tried to source any strontium citrate.

I had a DEXA recently - three years apart from the last one. The doctor called me on Friday to say that as we both knew he cannot take my spine readings as being anywhere near accurate because of degeneration of my spine and scoliosis. He said that by looking at the results of my hips I do not have osteoporosis, need no medication (he knew I was not taking any OP med since about March) and to continue with the Vitamin D and a DEXA will probably be performed again in 2 years.

I asked the question, that as I had been taking strontium and only stopped in March , would it be a true result of no osteoporosis in my hips. His reply was that having taken strontium it would not affect the result in my hips but may well have given a false reading if he had taken my spine scores into consideration.

He is sending me my report in the post. I await this with great interest.

I am pleased but as I have lost so much height I continue to be wary and a little nervous of what is going to happen in the future. I do trip and fall every now and again so another reason why I cannot sit back and be uber happy with this result! I shall continue my regime of exercising the best I can, taking supplements and having enough calcium in my diet. :)

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Very encouraging though, isn't it? As you know, my diagnosis is osteopenia and yet I've lost probably two inches and maybe more, they were pretty rough and jammed the stick down on my head really hard when I was measured before DXA scan a couple of years ago, so I think (hope) I'm 5'4", not 5'3" and a fraction. Used to be 5'6". I put down my height loss to arthritis and narrowing of space between vertebrae, and do all I can to keep my back muscles strong. But I'm beginning to wonder if ALL our bones can shrink, because my trousers all seem really long now, and so are my sleeves, yet I was told by a dressmaker when I was about 20 that my arms were two inches longer than average! Of course I weigh about 30 lb less than I did at that time so I suppose clothes hang looser? Age really is no fun at all. 🙄😕

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ps this doctor told me on the phone that he is retiring next month but will still be doing DEXA scan reports as it will take the hospital a year to train someone else to do them. I am devastated he is going and wondered why my October appointment had been moved to January next year. He was interested to hear this from me. I am going to send him a thank you card because as far as doctors go he is one in a million. :)

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I have unfortunately lost just over inches in height. :( I used to be 5 feet 8 inches tall). I always wanted to be petite when I was that height, but this is ridiculous! Ha ha! Be careful for what you wish for! ;)

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How many?

I was always quite happy with my height. I was, believe it or not, usually the tallest girl in my class, although the youngest. But now it seems the young girls are all amazons, plus I now have trouble finding clothes which fit!

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Ooops, apologies. Must have deleted the amount in error when typing my message. ;) I have amended my posting now. I have lost just over 5 inches. :(

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Gosh that seems a lot.....over what time period kaarina

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I cannot actually remember because I did not realise! Too busy getting on with my life. :) In 1999 my height was OK and in 2009 I was told that I had lost two inches which came as a shock. It has deteriorated from then ...

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That does seem a lot. I think another reason I've lost height is developing mild scoliosis, which physio exercises help correct and slow down the rate at which I appear to be shrinking.

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I noticed I had scoliosis in my teens and nothing was done about it so I feel this is the reason why I have lost height along with degenerative changes in the spine. I have osteoarthritis and had joint replacements.

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I guess it just shows we are still imperfectly evolved to go upright, even after all these millennia!

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There's lots of evidence to show that bisphosphonates such as Alendronic Acid are effective. Most people I know take them with no side effects. Unfortunately they upset my stomach, bowel and tongue. There are alternatives so just try them and if you have side effects, discuss with GP. They don't start to work until about 6 months anyway so you may as well just try and see what happens.

Some people get side effects to start with that wear off. If you've been prescribed vit D and calcium you might want to take them for a month before starting the AA so that if you get any side effects to the vit D and calcium you will be able to sort that out before starting AA. Otherwise you might not know what to attribute side effects to.

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Hi thanks for the advice...much appreciated...do you know the names of alternatives?

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The only alternative I have first hand knowledge of is no medication at all:

healthunlocked.com/pmrgcauk...

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Hmm I'm not sure that is an alternative ha ha......I'm 57 don't want to end up with broken hips etc...apart from early menopause I'm.on steriods for lung condition so want to be proactive

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Just read my little essay, it will give you good ideas you can follow anyway even if you take medication as well.

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Bisphosphonates: Alternatives

Tablets:

• alendronic acid /

alendronate (Fosamax)

• risedronate (Actonel)

• ibandronate (Bonviva)

Liquids:

• alendronic acid

oral solution

• effervescent tablet (Binosto)

Infusions and Injections:

zoledronic acid (Aclasta)

ibandronate (Bonviva)

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Although you had an early-ish menopause, I think it's still in the normal range. Do you know what your t-scores and fracture risk are? Sometimes GPs prescribe medication for osteoporosis before it's strictly necessary, so it's definitely worth considering your overall risk. Alendronic Acid is almost always the first medication prescribed (and we don't normally have a choice in the UK) and it has been shown to improve bone density in the short term, but cannot usually be taken long term (more than 3-5 years) without a medication "holiday". If your fracture risk is low, diet, weight bearing exercise and supplements can be a suitable alternative, and are important anyway, even with medication.

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Hello Cazza, I'm same. Though a little older than you. Take Steriods for COPD and Alendronic Acid, also Calcium. I broke my hand last Summer and was sent for a Dexa scan. Started on AAs soon after. The first few weeks had upset stomach and sickness, aches n pains too. But seems ok now. I'm hoping that I've made some improvement at 2 year scan. As I don't believe, there's a real alternative, that would help build back platelets in the Bones. I am going to take the advice above and wait an hour instead of the 30 mins, suggested by Doc. I also walk a lot n do Step excersize at home. In an effort to increase my Muscle strength. Best of luck. 😊✌️🌻

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