Alternative to Alendronic Acid: Hi, I’m new to... - Bone Health

Bone Health

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Alternative to Alendronic Acid

Lucy1578 profile image
13 Replies

Hi, I’m new to this and wonder if anyone can give me any advice on what I should be taking, as I’m really confused. I am taking Anastrozole after having breast cancer, I then had a bone density scan and was told I had Osteopenia. I am 67 yrs old

AP Spine(L1-L4) T-score. -1.4. Z -score 0.4

Femoral neck (left) T- score. -1.0. Z- score 0.6

I was prescribed AA in December and was ok for a couple of months, but then started having bad headaches and aching joints, knees were awful. Stopped taking them 3 weeks ago and feel so much better. Had bloods done ,a bit low on vitD3 but otherwise fine. So do I try AA again or try something else , any suggestions would be be really appreciated.

13 Replies
angie26 profile image
angie26

Your scores are very low! I cannot tolerate AA or Riseondrate and prefer Togo the natural route with supplements and diet, there is a lovely helpful site on FB, osteoporosis UK which covers lots of ideas

walk21 profile image
walk21

If you cannot take AA there are lots of alternatives. If you go on the Royal Osteoporosis Society site you can find a list of them with lots of information ready to discuss with your doctor .Good luck

Clyde12 profile image
Clyde12

Your scores are very low so don’t worry unduly. I have osteoporosis (from treatment for breast cancer) and my score was -2.6 which is just into the osteoporotic range. I too was prescribed AA but couldn’t tolerate it (tummy problems). My GP said not to take it and that my score was low so didn’t prescribe anything else. …..apart from Adcal. Best wishes to you. Sites like this are very reassuring.

Parkwalk profile image
Parkwalk in reply to Clyde12

Hi. I have also been prescribed alendronic acid. I had breast cancer and started on letrozole 3 months ago. My dexa scan was -1.9 for my spine. I have had a row with my GP as I don't want to take oral alendronate. They try to scare you with horror stories about imminent bone fractures. I feel I'm being pushed into taking a drug with potential sever side effects just in case I drop the other 0.6 points to osteoporosis. I'm on letrozole for 5 years . There is so little information on which to base a decision.

Clyde12 profile image
Clyde12 in reply to Parkwalk

At -1.9 you have osteopenia. I spoke again to my Gp a couple of days ago and she’s quite happy for me NOT to start any drugs at the moment. I am fit for my 73yrs and do walk about 5 miles daily (with dogs). Maybe you need to speak to osteoporosis society people for their advice. As far as letrozole is concerned I’m being allowed to take it for 10 yrs, (I think I’m on yr 7 now). Yes it’s got lots of side effects but I’m alive in spite of being told the cancer was very aggressive. Good luck to you.

Katob501 profile image
Katob501

My scores were higher than yours (T -1.8 for all areas) and my doctor advised that I should not take any medication. Perhaps this might be an option for you as your scores are very low. It is all very confusing I agree.

Lucy1578 profile image
Lucy1578

Thanks everyone for all your replies, feeling better about not taking anything, spoke to my doctor who agreed. Will look on the sites mentioned for ideas.

Mavary profile image
Mavary

Hi. Just like to say that my bone score was -5.5 for my spine and -4.3 for my hips. So your score doesn’t look that low to me. They may just recommend you take calcium tablets and eat healthily also get plenty of sunshine. I’m not sure they will put you on any bone meds. I could be wrong. I was on Terraparatide for two years with no problems. I was then put on Denosumab and after five months I had four more spinal fractures. I’ve had seven spinal fracture. I fractured my foot and I’ve had a fracture in my hand. My hand one I fell on but all the rest were spontaneous I’ve been on the Denosumab now for I think nearly two years. The Consultant told me it takes a year or two to work.

Fruitandnutcase profile image
Fruitandnutcase

Lucy with scores like yours I would definitely not want to take alendronic acid. Mine are a lot worse than yours, I took AA for four months, felt beyond dreadful all of the time, I had your symptoms plus more - the only symptom I didn’t have was an upset stomach which was actually the only symptom I had expected to have to worry about.

In the end I was losing the will to keep going, so now rightly or wrongly I concentrate on weight bearing exercises, a really good diet and vitamins and minerals.

So with your scores I’d work on diet and exercise - look at Margaret Martin’s site melioguide.com you’ll find lots of interesting information there and look at the information sheets about diet, vitamins and exercise on the ROS.

There are alternatives to alendronic but a lot of them come with catches - for example stopping Prolia isn’t all that easy - you need to take another drug as soon as you stop and that might be something like alendronic acid, some drugs can only be taken for a couple of years.

I’d definitely take your doctors advice.

1000Miler profile image
1000Miler

I'm not sure why people are saying that your scores are very low. They're not! Your scores are very high (high is good). Your T scores indicate that you are barely scraping into the osteopenia range and your Z scores indicate that you actually have above average bone density for your age. You really couldn't hope for better scores!

Met00 profile image
Met00

I can't understand why you've been prescribed AA with such good scores. You have normal bone density for your age - I wish mine was that good! I can understand them being concerned that your cancer medication may cause bone loss, but it clearly isn't an issue at the moment and I would seriously ask to stop taking any osteoporosis medication for the time being at least. I'm a couple of years younger than you and have been told I don't need medication, with t-scores of -2.3 and -2.7.

ROSAdmin2 profile image
ROSAdmin2Partner

Hi Lucy1578, you could give the ROS specialist nurses a ring. They also have a fact sheet on breast cancer and osteoporosis as a risk factor. The nurses can explain the alternative drug treatments.0808 800 0035

DeeDree profile image
DeeDree

try something else. A friend of mine went on a word beginning with R. I’ve yet to go on AA as i need a tooth out and am on WL at the dentist. I think trauma to my hips and lower back (a canister blew me back against a wall) has caused my osteoporosis. What do you think of this theory?

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