Some are stopping Fosamax and other o...

Some are stopping Fosamax and other osteoporosis d...

There are 231 comments on the Kevin, M.D. story from Nov 13, 2005, titled Some are stopping Fosamax and other osteoporosis d.... In it, Kevin, M.D. reports that:

Some are stopping Fosamax and other osteoporosis drugs because of the risk of "jaw death" . "While bisphosphonate-related jaw death is still a rare phenomenon since first reported in 2003, researchers have ...

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Brenda Johns

Manchester, TN

#1 Jan 29, 2006
I would like information on "jaw death".
jaw bone death

Zurich, Switzerland

#3 Feb 27, 2006
I would take fortical ( www.fortical.com ) as it is natural and has no side effects. All others do have. From cancer to jaw bone death or nasal irritations (benzol in miacalcin)!

jaw:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2005-03-1...

Cancer:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/understand...

benzol

http://www.drugdeliverytech.com/cgi-bin/artic...
Betty

Hartland, MN

#4 Feb 27, 2006
Brenda Johns wrote:
I would like information on "jaw death".
I would also like to know
calcitonin

Zurich, Switzerland

#5 Feb 27, 2006
calcitonin

Zurich, Switzerland

#6 Feb 27, 2006
Many women are now searching for a safe alternative to hormone replacement therapy to alleviate the effects of osteoporosis. Current treatments on the market such as bisphosphonates and SERMs (estrogen-related therapies) have safety issues and focus primarily on slowing bone loss. Another existing treatment option is calcitonin, a naturally occurring hormone involved in calcium regulation and bone metabolism. In women who are more than five years beyond menopause calcitonin slows bone loss, increases spinal bone density and, according to recent studies, reduces the risk of spinal fractures. In recent trials, calcitonin demonstrated a 62 percent reduction in the incidence of new vertebral fractures for a subgroup of women over 75, one of the most significant reductions demonstrated by any current osteoporosis therapy. In addition, calcitonin is the only osteoporosis therapy that can reduce the significant bone pain often associated with osteoporosis. Because calcitonin is a peptide, it cannot be taken orally because it would be digested before it could exert its therapeutic effect. Currently calcitonin is available as an injection or nasal spray. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing FORTICAL, a unique nasal calcitonin product developed by Unigene Laboratories, and Unigene is also developing an oral form of the product.
from a dentist

Zurich, Switzerland

#7 Feb 27, 2006
i'm a Dentist that is concerned with the bisphos....IE: Fosamax,Boniva,and actenol,.......There is no treatment for bone necrosis of the jaw......palliative only...Taking the patients off these drugs for three months will do nothing because the half life of these drugs is 80 years...This will become a problem for the fda..with all the bone necrosis problems these cause....good luck to all of us performing extractions and rootcanal therapy...Dr. lou

Hope this all helps!
Jeanie Michigan

Taylor, MI

#8 Mar 8, 2006
I heard that some newe studies are revealing that fosamax type drugs can actually make bones more brittle. Yes, they will make them more dense and therefor raise your t-scores, but new studies are showing that there can be risks of making bones more fragil to fractures.
Do you or anyone else know anything about this?
I actually read this article in O magazine.
vivian

Australia

#9 Mar 9, 2006
from a dentist wrote:
i'm a Dentist that is concerned with the bisphos....IE: Fosamax,Boniva,and actenol,.......There is no treatment for bone necrosis of the jaw......palliative only...Taking the patients off these drugs for three months will do nothing because the half life of these drugs is 80 years...This will become a problem for the fda..with all the bone necrosis problems these cause....good luck to all of us performing extractions and rootcanal therapy...Dr. lou

Hope this all helps!
Thanks from Australia: you've answered my major concern.. I'm off fosamax now, but I wondered how long it would stay in my system, and can't imagine the damage it's done: I'm in constant pain near my liver, and have enough trouble with my gingivitus, certainly don't want jaw problems too. Vivian
Marlene White

AOL

#10 Mar 24, 2006
Brenda Johns wrote:
I would like information on "jaw death".
I have been taking fosamax for 11 years and in Nov. of 2006 had an implant put in by an oral surgeon. Six weeks later, at a check up, my doc informed me I had exposed bone and he was worried. After reading the implications of jaw necrosis I was terrified. I immediately stopped taking fosamax and began to use an antibiotic mouth wash,as well as pills 4 times a day. I also, put a magnet on the outside of my jaw over the site of exposed bone and kept it there 24 hrs a day for 2 weeks.(I am a total believer in magnet therapy for bone healing having used them to aid in the healing of a badly shattered ankle. A bone graft from my hip was advised after 12 weeks of a non-union in one part of the ankle. Within 4 weeks of magnet therapy the bone had filled in and surgery was not required. Last year when my tibia was cracked in a ski accident I also used a magnet and the fracture healed in less than 5 weeks). Within 4 days of using a magnet on my jaw a sliver of dead bone came out with profuse bleeding of the gum and within another week the gum had healed perfectly.Since there is really no other treatment for jaw necrosis I would think magnets would certainly not be harmful and could in fact enhance healing.
Marlene White
munevera

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

#11 Mar 25, 2006
Hi, I'm 47 years old and I have got mano with 39 years. Three years ago I was operated diskus-hernya(L5-S1). Recently I was diagnosed osteop. in lumbal and backneck backbone.
I was prescribed Fosamay therapy which I haven't started yet cos I have some big dilemas should I use it or not. I've heard some stories about serios contraindications of the drug (even that causes cancer).
Also I have problems low blod pressure.
Please tell me if You know anything more about this so it could help me to make the best decision
susi

Arab, AL

#12 Mar 30, 2006
calcitonin wrote:
Many women are now searching for a safe alternative to hormone replacement therapy to alleviate the effects of osteoporosis. Current treatments on the market such as bisphosphonates and SERMs (estrogen-related therapies) have safety issues and focus primarily on slowing bone loss. Another existing treatment option is calcitonin, a naturally occurring hormone involved in calcium regulation and bone metabolism. In women who are more than five years beyond menopause calcitonin slows bone loss, increases spinal bone density and, according to recent studies, reduces the risk of spinal fractures. In recent trials, calcitonin demonstrated a 62 percent reduction in the incidence of new vertebral fractures for a subgroup of women over 75, one of the most significant reductions demonstrated by any current osteoporosis therapy. In addition, calcitonin is the only osteoporosis therapy that can reduce the significant bone pain often associated with osteoporosis. Because calcitonin is a peptide, it cannot be taken orally because it would be digested before it could exert its therapeutic effect. Currently calcitonin is available as an injection or nasal spray. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing FORTICAL, a unique nasal calcitonin product developed by Unigene Laboratories, and Unigene is also developing an oral form of the product.
Thank you so much for your post. I am one of those people who experiences the severe bone pain, but do still need some help with the osteoporosis. I was trying to find out if the calcitonin would be an alternative to the actonel. You've not only made my day today, butfor many more days. Thanks again.
sherita murphy

Russell Springs, KY

#13 Mar 31, 2006
I too have been diag. with osteo. and was started on fosamax which I took for 3 weeks before learning about the problems with it. My Dr. now says I don't have time for fosamax to kick in because I have broke 4 ribs and fractured a vertebra within the past week, he now wants me to go on forteo but I can't find out if it is the same type drug or if it has been thought to cause the same prob. so I have'nt started it yet and the fact that it cost 659.00 for 28 days and I have no ins. I decided to get a tooth taken out that has been bothering me for some time but now my dentist nor oral surgeon will do anything until they learn more because they say they don't know how long is too long to be on fosamax. I am to the point I guess I will just take my chances of being bedridden with osteo.at least I will be able to talk and not have a feeding tube down my nose.
article on la times

Goslikon, Switzerland

#14 Apr 5, 2006
More on jaw necrosis

The incidence of both these complications is minuscule in comparison with the millions of people taking these medications. More than 36 million prescriptions for oral bisphosphonates, such as Actonel, Fosamax and Boniva, were dispensed in 2005, according to IMS Health, a pharmaceutical information and consulting company. Nearly 3 million cancer patients have been treated with intravenous versions of the medications.

But because at least 90% of drug side effects aren't reported to the Food and Drug Administration, the real number of people stricken with jaw necrosis and other side effects could be higher.

"We've uncovered about 1,000 patients [with jaw necrosis] in the past six to nine months alone, so the magnitude of the problem is just starting to be recognized," says Kenneth M. Hargreaves, chair of the endodontics department at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

..The issue is especially worrisome, says Dr. Susan M. Ott, an osteoporosis expert at the University of Washington in Seattle, because the number of women taking bisphosphonates stands to increase now that women are more reluctant to preserve their bones by taking estrogen after menopause.

In 2002, when a landmark study revealed that hormone replacement therapy carried slight but measurable heart and breast cancer risks, prescriptions for oral bisphosphonates shot up 32%, according to IMS Health.

"These drugs are still relatively new and problems sometimes take years to show up," says Ott of the University of Washington.

"We're not quite sure what we're dealing with over the long haul. Side effects like this should make ordinary, healthy women think twice."

Piervin still takes calcium and Miacalcin (better fortical ), a nasal spray that helps preserve bone density. She also walks every day and does weight-bearing exercise three times weekly to help her bones stay stronger — even parks her car eight to 10 blocks from work to fit more walking into her schedule.

She'd take hormones, but she's worried about the risk. She'd exercise more, but she doesn't have the time.

"I'm off Fosamax," she says, "but I'm in limbo regarding future treatment."
full article here
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-...
Gaye

Plano, TX

#15 Apr 5, 2006
WEll, well, what do we do? I have the unopened pkg of Fosamax sitting at home and after reading up on it...certainly will not take it..
I have to have dental work done soon...do the Dr's not know about the effects of these meds? I was going to ask to switch to Actonel,,but will stay clear of it also.
I'll look up Miacalcin (nasal) to check it out next....our choices for bone loss help are getting slimmer it seems.
KikiDB

Pittsburgh, PA

#16 Apr 6, 2006
I wrote a long message here but got kicked out because I think I was taking too long. So, briefly:

1. I'm off bisphosphonates (Actonel) because I don't like it's effect on bones--it doesn't build new bone but only stops resorption. Osteonecrosis of the jaw is emerging after long-term use just now as a devastating complication.

2. Forteo builds new bone but is expensive and not studied long-term.

3. I'm starting OTC strontium citrate after reading lots of research in good journals on strontium ralenate, currently in clinical trial. It builds bones.

4. For good online medical information, try Google Scholar and wade through abstracts from respected peer-reviewed medical journals. Yes, you can do it. Beware of quackery and anecdotal testimonials.

5. I don't believe in static magnetics, but I do believe in electromagnetism as these devices are FDA approved for non-healing fractures and osteonecrosis. I bought a QRS (Quantran Resonance Systems mat).
jeanne from mass

Northridge, CA

#17 Apr 9, 2006
i went to see a gyno and she recommended both of these i really don't want something that is not going to work
aetonel.fosamax. can any one help if hey are a doctor?
Floyd from Westport

Newark, DE

#18 Apr 12, 2006
I would recomend that you look into Fortical. Fortical is a formulation of calcitonin that can be taken nasally. It is rapidly replacing Miacalcin on most formularies. It is both cheaper and doesn't have the preservative that can cause nasal irritation.
Laura

Milpitas, CA

#19 Apr 12, 2006
sherita murphy wrote:
I too have been diag. with osteo. and was started on fosamax which I took for 3 weeks before learning about the problems with it. My Dr. now says I don't have time for fosamax to kick in because I have broke 4 ribs and fractured a vertebra within the past week, he now wants me to go on forteo but I can't find out if it is the same type drug or if it has been thought to cause the same prob. so I have'nt started it yet and the fact that it cost 659.00 for 28 days and I have no ins. I decided to get a tooth taken out that has been bothering me for some time but now my dentist nor oral surgeon will do anything until they learn more because they say they don't know how long is too long to be on fosamax. I am to the point I guess I will just take my chances of being bedridden with osteo.at least I will be able to talk and not have a feeding tube down my nose.
I have info on Forteo...
My mother has broken her hips twice and now is on Forteo. It does not cause the jaw bone
death as listed as a side effect in the other medication. I read the literature extensively as
I needed to inject my mom with this daily and wanted to be sure she was o.k..
It works by causing the bones to grow in density and is effective within 2 months. The only warnings are that in rats (who have growth plates)...we don't... we stop growing as
adults...rats continue to grow... that cancer showed up in the growth plates of the rats.
As we don't have growth plates it is deemed safe for us... and as it can be so effective in
stopping fractures and in rebuilding bone the benefit outways the risk. Hope this is
helpful...
Sincerely
Laura F.
Must read

Oberweningen, Switzerland

#21 Apr 16, 2006
http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_evely...

For many years, estrogen therapy was used to prevent osteoporosis, until 2002, when a study by Women's Health Initiative said that estrogen posed more risks than benefits. When the study revealed that hormone therapy carried slight, but measurable, heart and breast cancer risks, prescriptions for bisphosphonates shot up 32%, according to IMS Health, which monitors pharmaceutical trends.

However, although Fosamax may improve bone density, experts say when it comes to fracture prevention, its benefit is modest at best. In fact, some researchers say that when taken for more than ten years, Fosamax will actually make bones more brittle and thus, more susceptible to fracture. And even if patients stop taking the drug, doctors say it can stay in the body for up to 10 years.

"We've uncovered about 1,000 patients (with jaw necrosis) in the past six to nine months alone, so the magnitude of the problem is just starting to be recognized," Kenneth Hargreaves, of the University of Texas, told the newspaper.

"We're not quite sure what we're dealing with over the long haul,” Dr Susan Ott, told the Times.“Side effects like this should make ordinary, healthy women think twice," she warned.

In a statement, Merck said that in “all of our controlled clinical trials with Fosamax, which involved more than 17,000 patients, including some that were 10 years in duration, we had no reports," according to the April 3, 2006 LA Times.

However, a closer look at the results of Merck studies casts a shadow on their favorable outcomes. For instance, Merck virtually controlled everything about a 2002 Annals of Internal Medicine paper praising the use of Fosamax. The paper’s lead author was Susan Greenspan, a Harvard Medical School professor and director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Center at the time.

As it turns out, Merck paid for the recruitment and participation of all 327 clinical trial subjects; the company collected the data from 25 separate facilities; Merck employees handled “coordinating the early phases of the study” and provided “expertise in study conduct,” and in the end, Merck retained control and ownership of the research itself.

Admittedly, most of these details are revealed in the Annals article’s disclosures and acknowledgments, but such qualifications rarely appear in articles on web sites, where many people learn about trial results.

The year before Dr Greenspans paper was published in 2001, Fosamax sales barely reached $1 billion. The following year the drug had sales of $2.7 billion.

The lawsuit alleges that the FDA asked Merck to add a ONJ warning to Fosamax's label in August of 2004 and that it has yet to comply with that request.

Merck claims it received a request from the FDA to update the label in January 2005, and says the warning was added in July 2005. However, the "label" referred to is actually a 22-page document that is provided to pharmacies that fill prescriptions for Fosamax, and the warning does not appear until page 13.

The attorney in the Florida lawsuit is seeking class action status and the suit reportedly may represent more than 10 million Fosamax users.

Fosamax is Merck's second best-selling drug with revenues of $3.2 billion in 2005, according to an April 12, 2006, article by the Associated Press.

Evelyn Pringle
[email protected]



none

Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Independent Media TV and a freelance investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government
susan

United States

#22 Apr 19, 2006
I have been on Fosamax since it became available. I have osteoporosis due to long term steroid use to control SLE. My doctor told me to continue taking it!

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