Alendronic Acid Help please

Hello :) I had my Dexa result yesterday it seems I have Osteopenia, my rheumatologist tried to persuade me to take Alendronic Acid after recently reading the leaflet on it I refused but said I would look into it.... it looks a scary drug :(

Could anyone please advise me on this or are there any less harmful drugs that would do the same thing?

Many thanks :)

11 Replies

  • Go to this website of the National Osteoporosis Society, what they don't know is not worth knowing:

    They have a list of all drugs and so much information that is absolutely essential you read up on it all. Then you can then make your decision in the light of the new knowledge you have gained.

  • Thank you so much, glad there is so much help on this site :)

  • So you have osteopenia. So do I. So do most people our age. What is of interest is the degree of osteopenia: what were your t-scores? My t-scores are -1 and -1.3 so I am classed as being osteopeneic. I have never taken alendronic acid, just calcium and vit D, for the entire 8 years I have been on pred and the readings have hardly changed.

    Better than -1 is normal. Between -1 and -2.5 you are classified as having osteopenia and below -2.5 you are osteoporitic. Better than -1.6 is considered not requiring treatment - for the present. If the situation were to deteriorate in the future things might change. However, people with normal one density have fractures, people with low bone density don't always.

    There are a lot of things to look at to reduce the risk of falls and hip fracture which have no nasty side effects - and cost nothing or very little: good lighting, removing trip hazards (loose rugs, trailing cables, pets), keeping reasonably fit and active, improving balance if it is poor, keeping well hydrated, ensuring vit D levels are adequate, ensuring medication for BP is optimal.

    HeronNS on this forum is the guru for maintaining bone density naturally with exercise and diet/supplements. Her t-score was -2.1 (treatment advised), she was told it was osteoporosis (it wasn't) but in the space of a year she improved it to -1.6 (no treatment required).

    There may be a role for medication - but it depends on the circumstances. But none of the medications should be used for more than 3 years because that then introduces drug-associated side effects which include spontaneous fractures. Dentists are also very wary of working on patients n bisphosphonates. So if you DID decide to take them, first of all you need to have any potential dental work done FIRST. While taking them your dental hygiene should be exemplary. And before starting, your calcium and vit D levels must be checked and put right if they are not correct because unless your calcium and vit D levels are correct - the drugs won't work and you take them until the cows come home but your bone density wouldn't change. But a lot of doctors are totally unaware of such niceties.

  • Thank you PMRpro reading through your reply makes such a lot of sense re- the safety side of it as I am accident prone and have a lot of allergies most due to medication so the less is best for me I still can't get down to less than 10mg of pred after 4 years and he's nagging me also to take methotrexate which I also refused (I don't particularly like my rheummy and I don't think I'm his favourite patient either) I had a flare last week so back up to 15mg again for a month then have to drop by 1mg per month till I get to 12mg then have to see him again, sadly he's the only one at the local hospital. He did try to explain my score but I didn't really take it in all I had in my mind was no, no, no... Will ask my gp what my score was so I can compare... Thank you so much for the detailed advice I knew I could count on this site :)

  • Says it all really 🤗

  • Drug therapy is not recommended for osteopenia any more. This diagnosis is not telling you that you have a disease, rather it is a warning to step up your game and look after your skeleton. Bone thinning is pretty much inevitable as we age, but we can help our bones stay strong by eating a healthy well balanced diet, getting as much appropriate exercise as we can, and perhaps adding a few judicious supplements. (I take calcium , vitamins D and K2 and occasionally a little extra magnesium. Also I try to get the micronutrients needed for strong bones by eating as healthily as I know how, including treats like chocolate! )

  • Thank you HeronNS I have just started Fultium-d3 800u caps I have at least 3 yogurts a day plus plenty of fruit and veg, milk with cereals most days ...not sure what other vitamins I may need

    I'm constantly on the go and walk my dogs as often as I can, the way he explained it was i need to think about these tablets and he gave me a brochure on osteoporosis which scared me a lot I must say :( he did say I could have a yearly injection or infusion but as I said to him with my medicine allergies what would happen if i had either of them and had a reaction he can't just take it back out .. by then i couldn't wait to get out of his clinic and I think he was glad to see me go lol

  • Sounds like you are off to a good start. Please note that liquid milk isn't necessarily the best source of calcium, but fermented foods like yoghurt and some cheeses are good. Walking is great. Consider taking up some other activities. After my diagnosis I learned Nordic walking, Tai chi, and bought a high quality weighted walking vest.

    Vitamin K2 is very important. Not same as k1 which we get from our leafy greens, and a bit hard to get from our diet these days so you could consider supplementing.

  • I have taken your advice on board and will be looking into the supplements you advise, I would much rather do it your way than take more toxic medications

  • We aren't alone. Lots of people refuse the drugs and although some who take them seem to do well, the number of people who stop taking the meds is quite high. As I said, osteopenia is not a reason to take drugs. If I could manage to improve my t score I think there's no reason why you can't too!

  • Thank you again with ring gp and see if I can get t score :)

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