Osteoporosis Drug Craziness

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Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at what today’s scientists consider being prudent treatment. A few years ago, I learned that bone strengthening drugs called “bisphosphonates” (Fosamax, Boniva, or Actonel), given to people for osteoporosis, are sometimes bone weakening drugs. Seriously! Some people taking them end up with broken jaws, a condition called “osteonecrosis.” Other side effects include irregular heartbeat, esophageal inflammation and pain. But the notion that a drug causes what it is supposed to prevent (bone weakening) is illogical at best! But wait, there’s more!

A journal called Current Geriatrics Reports ‘s states
“Studies have found that bisphosphonates decrease fractures in the vertebrae by more than 50 percent and fractures elsewhere by 40 percent. But the drugs also cause a small risk of atypical femur fractures.”

WHAT? Bone strengthening drugs cause broken legs and bone fractures?
How do they write these papers without questioning the stupidity of their own drugs?

Patients are encouraged to take these “bone strengthening” drugs forever, but as the article states, the lifetime incidence of bisphosphonate drugs causing fractures (lower spine, pelvis, wrist, femur and upper arm) increases to 40-50% in women who take them. They consider a 50% increased incidence to be a “small risk?” Based on that statement, they shouldn’t recommend these drugs at all, because they only offer a 50% decreased spine fracture risk! Always read drug company pitches very, very carefully. They then causally mention that 20-30% of hip fractures are fatal.

The medical community is quick to report that the benefits of such drugs outweigh the risks. I prefer regular exercise for bone strength to drugs. In any case, please have important conversations with anyone who hands you prescriptions. Then, just go with your heart, while it is still beating regularly!

 

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