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Osteoporosis Bone Loss – If I were a doctor

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I used to watch The Flying Nun and I learned to really like Sally Fields as an actress. But then came the “I’m preventing bone loss” Boniva ads on TV.   I still like her, but I no longer trust her because I perceived that she sold out to the drug company, the drug that would eventually cause bone weakness, not bone strength.  Indeed, I’m certain she was responsible for selling a lot of Boniva and gaining a handsome paycheck in return.  20 years later, a new study entitled “FDA Slaps Boxed Warning on Osteoporosis Drug.”  This time the culprit is the osteoporosis drug, “Prolia” which can cause severely lower calcium levels in the first 12-weeks of use in 41% of the women with kidney disease who took it.  Following a litany of horrible sounding side effects of Prolia caused hypocalcemia, the article states that patients taking Prolia shouldn’t stop taking their medication without first consulting with their healthcare provider. If I were a doctor, I’d try to help my patients decipher a non-black-box warning, inexpensive and safer way to maintain bone health.  Here are two of the hundreds of papers that exist on the subject, and these don’t even cover the hundreds on bone health and exercise!

But I am not a doctor and I do not pledge allegiance to the pharmaceutical industry.  I look for non-pharmaceutical ways to help my own health problems.  Sally Fields was wrong about Boniva, but she was not alone.  As it turns out even our own FDA was wrong in allowing these (and many, many other) drugs onto the market without comprehending the negative impact of them until their patients report them. A coin always has two sides.


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