Reflux / heartburn caused by alendronic acid. - Bone Health

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Reflux / heartburn caused by alendronic acid.

Fruitandnutcase profile image

I’ve been taking AA for four months now with no problems and only now do I have a feeling of indigestion / heartburn in my chest. Not on the day I take it as I would have expected but later in the week.

I think it started after I had a craving for a can of Diet Coke (which I gave up years ago for exactly that reason) and had a couple of cans over a few weeks so the heartburn didn’t surprise me. I’ve also been eating too much chocolate recently - I gave u chocolate for the same reason.

My question is - is my heartburn or whatever I’m feeling likely to be caused by my unsuitable snacks or can the effect of AA build up over time and even though I don’t feel anything in the day I take it is it more likely to be that than diet?

17 Replies

Hi there, I got heartburn and gastritis which started after 2 months and got progressively worse and became almost constant so I had to stop taking and it all got better - although I do still get a bit of heartburn now and again. Now I just rely on diet, supplements and exercise and hope I’m gonna be ok!

Hope so too 😊

I am working with a dietician on a fodmap diet and taking the AA into account - she feels dietary adjustments is the way to go rather than giving up on the drug. I did have digestive issues before but they aren't better for AA that's for sure! Leaving out certain foods is working mostly- I havent got back to reintroducing some yet.....

karmel profile image
karmel in reply to Knapweed

I was referred to an NHS dietitian years ago to advise me on the low fodmap diet to help me control my IBS. I did find eliminating certain groups of food did help me in pinpointing what foodgroup my gut could not tolerate. Good luck.

Thank you. That sounds like what I was thinking. I’ve got IBS too, the alendronic hasn’t affected it which is why I think it’s the Coke and chocolate I’ve had recently. I cut both out years ago when I developed inflammatory arthritis and started to eat a low carb diet - I eat carbs but I get them from better sources than coke and chocolate. I’ll watch what I’m eating from now on. Go back to a proper pre-lockdown comfort eating diet. 😉

I think it could be the coke and chocolate that made you have a flare-up. I can et something, that I wouldn't normally eat one day, and think I have not had any gut problems from it and then the week after I can have a terrible IBS flare-up.

AA gave me a tummy ulcer so I had to discontinue taking it...I now rely on good diet, and loads of walking plus adcal.d3. Best wishes to you.

Thanks for that. How long did it take to do that - can your u remember? I know they can do infusions that bypass your stomach but once you’ve had that you are stuck with it for a year. I like the idea that I can stop it - even if I don’t - if you know what I mean.

Only 2 tablets before starting pain in tummy. 3rd tablet caused back pain. Go put me on lansoprazole 30mg reducing to 15mgs after 1 week and advised seeing osteoporosis clinic. My score is only -2.6 so I’m not takin anything but lucky to be able to walk 4/6 miles daily. Plus I’m on Adcal d3. Tablets. Good luck.

Gosh, that was a fast reaction wasn’t it.

Things were the opposite for me - broke wrist, plastered straight, I’m 71 so I was sent for a DEXA scan straight away, I’ve got a massive family history of osteoporosis as well as inflammatory arthritis, Graves’ disease, a spell on steroids so things weren’t liking great, report came back with treatment plan and date for a meeting with the fracture liaison nurse.

I really didn’t want to start AA but my physiotherapist pilates teacher whose advice I really respect said with my numbers - higher than yours - she would definitely take the AA, I’ve always exercised, done Pilates for twenty years or so and eaten fairly well on the whole, never smoked and I don’t really drink. There wasn’t a lot of room for me to improve with exercise or diet.

It is really good to hear of someone who has been ‘discovered’ in time to sort things out with diet and exercise. Keep up your good work 😊

Hi, I've had gastro problems for sometime.

Found that Chocolate, Coca Cola, Pepsi and Pastry cause flare ups.

I can manage flare ups with Gaviscon Advance it does take a while to settle back down.

I have also found that Dark chocolate if eaten in small quantities and after a meal does not give me as many problems.

Hope things settle quickly for you.

Thank you - that’s exactly the sort of things that would affect me. Must get myself some dark chocolate for the odd nibble 😉

I’ve been on AA for about 20 months and although I get more indigestion now, I’ve always put it down to my shape change after losing 3 ins due to spinal fractures. My tummy is more squashed up (not a pretty sight 😂) I also find eating certain foods now will cause indigestion. I find sugary stuff and bread the biggest culprit, and sometimes wine.

I’m sorry to hear you’ve had spinal fractures - so painful. I’ve not had one but I know from a family member who did that they are very painful and they do mess up your digestive system. It’s a shame when you not only have pain and lose height but then have to rethink all your favourite foods too.

I still have some chocolate and wine, after all you’re a long time dead. As my granny used to say. 😂

Last August I had been taking AA for about 16 months when I had a terrible episode, nearly called for an ambulance the pain was so bad. I was on holiday at the time and so as I’d taken AA that day and I thought it could have been to do with it... so I stopped taking it. In January I had a colonoscopy and was told I had a sliding hiatus hernia and it was a a good job that I stopped the drug when I did...my consultant said it would have been much worse if I had carried on. So now I suffer quite badly with GERD/acid reflux (and didn’t before!) and will the rest of my life...and all caused by this drug...so beware!!! And I still have osteoporosis!!😢

Gosh, that’s dreadful. Like you say, thank goodness you stopped taking it. Are you taking anything else instead or are you just trying diet and exercise? I’d love not to be taking it, the idea if it frightens me but I know so many people who are taking it and my physio/ Pilates teacher said that if her DEXA score was like mine she would definitely take the A.A. I think though if anything happens and it doesn’t agree with me I’ll not be taking anything else. It was the threat the possibility of a broken hip lurking in the background at my age (71) when you already have a broken wrist which was SO painful plus the fact I was already extremely active, did loads of weight bearing exercise and ate well that made me take it but it is very nasty stuff.Good luck for the future.

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