Osteoporosis and Steroids: When I got PMR/GCA a... - PMRGCAuk


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Osteoporosis and Steroids

Stella3 profile image

When I got PMR/GCA a year ago, I also had osteoporosis. Because steroids can do a number on your bones, I was given an infusion of Reclast. (Which is a once yearly infusion).

I now have to have some major dental work done and Reclast together with steroids can cause problems after dental work. Being unable to heal properly and also other things. Has anyone had experience of this?

32 Replies


The dr. wanted me on it after I had a fracture two months ago. I spoke with the dentist and she said get all my dental work done before starting the med. After that, any other work would need to be done by a specialist.

Apparently the bones form differently after using the medication.

I have a lot of dental work to be done so I chose not take the shot. I have started using estrogen as a way to build bone. Not all people can use Estrogen for me it was the better choice. I know that some of the bone building meds you stay on for life and are hard to discontinue. I also did not like what I read about all the side effects from them.

Good Luck in your decision and treatment.

Stella3 profile image
Stella3 in reply to Lin6075

Hi Lin, Thank you so much for your response. I wonder if you live in the States as Reclast might be made under another name in UK. I have to have a tooth pulled and an implant put in. However I am going to forgo the implant (the tooth pulling is vital however) and see what happens. I was diagnosed with GCA after painful headaches, jaw stiffness and double vision which led to the temporal biopsy that confirmed GCA so going on 60 mg steroids was not a choice. I am now down to 6mg! However the same doctor recommended the Reclast for osteoporosis and I did not look into the side effects. You made a good choice there. It seems sometimes that you’re damned if you do and damned if you dont!

HeronNS profile image
HeronNS in reply to Stella3

Reclast is zoledronic acid.

Lin6075 profile image
Lin6075 in reply to Stella3

Hi Stella3

I do live in the states and it was reclast they wanted me to use among other meds. That is awful about the GCA I feel bad for you. What will you be doing for GCA if the steroids is not a choice?

Lin6075 profile image
Lin6075 in reply to Stella3

This is a list if found of drugs that may interact with the cbd oil. What the interactions are I don't know.


HMG CoA reductase inhibitors

Calcium channel blockers



HIV antivirals

Immune modulators








Beta blockers



Angiotension II blockers

Oral hypoglycemic agents


Can you tell us what the source of this list is? Thanks.


Thank you.

blueisgreen profile image
blueisgreen in reply to Lin6075


I had an infusion of zoldronic acid. Was also advised to get teeth checked first. A few months later I needed an extraction and the dentist would not do it. He referred me to the local hospital where it was removed with no trouble. Bone healed with no problems. He also said he would not consider any implants in a ZA patient.

sweetsusie profile image
sweetsusie in reply to scats

That's because these bone drugs can CAUSE fractures, specifically JAW fractures. They are horrible and should be taken off the market!

scats profile image
scats in reply to sweetsusie

I know now and won't be tking any more. At the time I was very stressed and just needed a simple life not an argument.

PMRpro profile image

Before they gave you the Reclast/zolendronic acid they should have told you to get any potential major dental work sorted out.

I think that counts as not allowing the patient to make an informed decision.

I had Reclast last October. No change in T scores which is good. Had all old cavities replaced during the past few months with no problems. FDA just approved Priolio in US so I will get that in October. Had improved scores with Prolio prior to PMR diagnosis.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Sandy1947

It is invasive work where healing of a socket is required that is the problem - fillings aren't invasive. Even fitting a crown shouldn't pose a problem. Implants and things - different matter altogether.

Sandy1947 profile image
Sandy1947 in reply to PMRpro


Hi Lin, Scats and Sandy

It was such a relief to get your posts. Thank you for sending them. Just a couple of points, when I got the Reclast I had no dental problems. I am still taking Prednisone, down from 60mg to 6mg! That is in one year! I did have a gi bleed from the initial dose of high steroids and had to have a colonoscopy to stop it. Then they put me down immediately to 40 mg. Things have been going well. I am having the tooth removed this Monday. My periodontist has said he does not want to do an implant, but a bridge would be better. Thank you for telling me that you had your tooth removed in the hospital Scats with no problem. I feel calmer already! Good luck to you all.

Sandy1947 profile image
Sandy1947 in reply to Stella3

Calm is good!

scats profile image
scats in reply to Stella3

I have just remembered. I had a hip replacemet a few weeks before and all winter I a lot of bone pain in that femor which I now believe was caused by the ZA. Also left a bad taste in the mouth, literally.

Lin6075 profile image
Lin6075 in reply to Stella3

Good Luck and Best wishes

Hi Stella

I guess it depends how invasive the dental work is.

I am having some dental work doing shortly, and am on AA since February this year.

I’m having a new bridge and some crowns, nothing too invasive. I wanted an implant but decided against it.

If you discuss what’s going to happen with your Dentist and they are aware of your meds , then I’m sure you can work something out.

Good luck.

I hate Dentist, although mine is totally amazing and I trust him implictly.(is that even a word.?)

Carole x

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to 9lives

It is, except you lost an "i" - and you used it correctly whether you knew it was a word or not!! ;-)



1. in a way that is not directly expressed; tacitly.

"she implicitly suggested that he was responsible for the error"

synonyms:completely, absolutely, totally, wholeheartedly, utterly, unconditionally, unreservedly, without reservation, without reserve, without qualification, one hundred per cent; informalall the way

"he trusted Sarah implicitly"

2. without qualification: absolutely.

"he trusted Sarah implicitly"

9lives profile image
9lives in reply to PMRpro

Aww PMRpro

Thank you,

Not bad for a pred head eh?

I think you could do a stand in for Wikipedia xx

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to 9lives

Hope I'm more reliable than some of their articles!!! ;-)

Stella3 profile image
Stella3 in reply to 9lives

Hi 9 Lives, My dentist was very informative. He told me I should not have the implant but a bridge would be fine. However I must have the tooth pulled. I am going to see if I can manage without the second infusion of Reclast next September. I will have a DEXA scan first to see if there are any changes. This site is so helpful. I also hate the Dentist, but what can we do! We don’t have much choice! By the way, these things cost a fortune in the States.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Stella3

They don't come for sweeties in Europe!!!!

9lives profile image
9lives in reply to Stella3

Yes not cheap hear either!!

Good luck , hope it goes well xx

These bone "meds" for osteoporosis are horrible...I won't/can't take them. Tried a couple...no way! Doctor wanted me to do reclast, but after reading about the side effects..I'll take my chances. I convinced my doctor to let me go on HRT. i'm 70 and he let me!!! I've never felt better in my life.

Lin6075 profile image
Lin6075 in reply to sweetsusie


Very interested in your going on HRT. I just started and I am almost 70. I feel different. A little more energy and I'm getting around a little better. What level did they start you with?

I am at 1 mg. Couldn't do the 2 mg. Too much breast pain. For some reason, which I forget, estrogen is suppose to make pred. work better and therefore I should need less over time.

Good Luck and sure hope it helps.

sweetsusie profile image
sweetsusie in reply to Lin6075

I am on 0.5 estradiol and 1 mg of norethrine. Lowest dose possible...working great! I'm so glad you found a doctor who would actually prescribe it. At our age it's hard to get. I had to wear both sets of my knee pads and put on extra chap stick to convince my doctor to allow me to have it. I FEEL GREAT!!!

I have gotten Reclast infusions for 3 years. Now I no longer have osteoporosis. Very easy to do once a year. Will stop now for 2 years and recheck with bone density test. Haven't haven't had any major dental work since I've been on prednisone (a year) so don't know about many of the things you mention. I am very happy with the Reclast, however, - no side affects.

Stella3 profile image
Stella3 in reply to blueisgreen

Hi, thanks for your response. I now have had two infusions of Reclast with no side effects. Having my dental bridge put in right now. Hopefully when I have my next scan my Osteoporosis will have improved!

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