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Thread: Anyone else trying to avoid taking Fosomax/Actonel???

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    Anyone else trying to avoid taking Fosomax/Actonel???

    Hi - just wondering if anyone else was trying to build up their bones "naturally" rather than taking Fosomax/Actonel. I exercise almost everyday and I take calcium but according to my annual bone scan, my bones are at the pre-osteoporosis stage. They are not getting any worse the last 2 years though. Someone mentioned that they would avoid those drugs like the plague and that they don't really build bone mass. Any thoughts? PS - I'm 49. Darla

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Hollywood, California
    Curious as the only real negative I have heard is the cost since it is expensive and Merck is currently fighting the distribution of a generic.
    Some days I pray for Silence, Some days I pray for Soul,
    Some days I just pray to the God of Sex and Drums and Rock 'N' Roll.


  3. #3
    I was on Actonel for over two years but ran across some info that there was a connection (not a high risk, but still a connection) to problems with teeth and jawbones. I wish I recalled the details or the source. At any rate, I asked my doctor about getting off of this as I have been seeing changes in my teeth though nothing serious as yet and having always had good solid teeth I was concerned. The decision was made to wait until I had a new set of dental x-rays taken before discontinuing the Actonel which had resulted in bone density increase for me.

    A short while later the nurse practitioner in the same office stopped the Actonel for an entirely different reason (concern over possible abdominal bleeding from an ulcer). They have been watching a slight anemia recently, but no signs of infection are present. I've been prone to anemia for much of my life so there isn't anything too concerning about that.

    Still, I am no longer on Actonel and to be honest, I've gone back to drinking more milk and am enjoying it again. I am also taking the low dose daily aspirin which are combined with calcium and a good multi vitamin daily.

    The next bone density is due a few months from now so we shall see if there is any major difference. I don't know how long it takes for things to shift really but I do remember reading/hearing that Actonel stays in the system up to ten years after someone stops taking it which seemed to me a long time.

    I try to avoid as many pills as possible.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    San Diego
    I've been on Fosamax for a few months now
    and have had no problems. Fortunately, my
    insurance covers it. I pay $20.00 for 4 weeks
    supply. To me, it's worth it.


  5. #5
    My mother has osteoporosis and is unable to take either of those drugs because they both caused GI bleeding. She has always ingested lots of calcium rich foods and done weight-bearing exercises. According to her doctors, if you have osteopaeniea, there are things you can do to delay full-blown osteoporosis by preventing further decay of the bones, but there is nothing natural you can do that will help to regenerate bone mass.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Viola, Tennessee

    I'm no longer taking Actonel

    because my dentist was concerned as I have been having dental implants and the American Dental Assn has issued a warning NOT to have these if you are taking the bio-phosphates like fosamax, actonel, etc. due to possible necrosis of the jawbone in rare cases.

    He ordered a special blood test and it came back indidcating I am at low risk for this complication, but have stopped taking it anyway. There is another nasal spray that you use daily that will cause body to build bone, and/or conserve calciium and I may try that,

    Kind of scary for me
    Follow the first law of holes; if you are in one, stop digging

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Atlanta GA USA
    I've been on Actonel, the once a week type, for years due to being diagnosed with osteopenia (precursor of osteoporosis) in my forties, despite weight bearing exercise and using dairy products and taking calcium supplements. I was thrilled that this was available since my mother had really bad osteoporosis (completely hunched over by her sixties).

    This year I retired and now have minimal health insurance. The $100+ for a month's supply is not fun to pay, but it's worth it to prevent osteoporosis.

    But a couple of months ago, I experienced heartburn a few times daily for a few weeks. I know a little heartburn now and then can be normal and I admit to liking spicy foods (four-star hot in Thai restaurants), but I truly never had heartburn in my life before. I was going to chalk it up to just middle age changes, but did some research and learned that Actonel and similar drugs can cause problems with the esophagus and hence heartburn, as well as GI bleeding. (I asked my dentist about the jaw bone necrosis and he's not actually seen any cases of it.)

    I stopped taking the Actonel for a couple of weeks and the heartburn went away (as did some stress in my life that possibly was causing/adding to it).
    Started it again, per my gynecologist's recommendation (he really believes in it. His nurse thinks that if it was causing heartburn, it would be right after starting it years ago and right after taking it).

    So I'm on it again, but cautiously. I'm going to keep up with the research to see what is found after more women are on it for many years. It's tough to make this decision. I certainly don't believe in taking drugs and would rather keep/make strong bones naturally, but it may just not be in my genes to do it (just like DH is on a cholesterol fighting drug because exercising and a healthy diet were not enough to keep his cholesterol down).

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