Re: Osteopenia-how long does it take to progress?
your mom's bones are doing great if she is just entering ostopenia at 71 - she either has great genes, or has been doings lots of good things for herself for a while.
I am going to assume that your mom had a full body dxa scan to be diagnosied and she was -1.5 to -2 in the test....
She should do the calcium and vit d and walk and lift weights....that would be great. I do not think she is at great risk to stop the Fosamax at this time, but she should have a follow up scan in a year or so...unfortunatly, medicare will only pay for one every 21 months.
Another option might be that she break her pills and half and take a half dose each week - that would make it more affordable and might relieve the pains she is complaining of. If you were going to continue taking a drug, I would ask the doc to switch her from Fosamax to Actonel. There are times when one causes pains that the other will not. I actually hear more about the pain relief they often provide. We took a patient off her Actonel becasue the patient was having some major surgury in the next few weeks and it was not important that she be on it for a few weeks. The proceeder was delayed and after about three weeks, she started having lots of bone and joint pain appearing.
I would agree with stopping the drug if your mom was younger, but the truth is that a 51 year old penic patient will fracture at a much lower rate than a 71 year old penic patient. It might just be the extra protection she needs.
Good luck to your mom.