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    Old 11-28-2007, 09:36 AM   #1
    Clerklady
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    Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Hello All,

    I have been reading the side effects of fosamax and they do not sound very good, wondering if I should put this stuff in my body. From what the pharmacist says is that fosamax helps with the absorption of the vital nutrients that my bones need, is that correct???. I take a calcium, mag. & zinc vitamin, do I need to continue that or add anything else. I also take Lycria for nerve damage, ultram for neck pain & back pain (bulging disc in my neck) and diazepam for muscle spasms. The main side effect is the back pain; I do not need more pain, and the jaw and teeth problems. Can anyone explain what the fosamax does and what else can I do, my Doctor did not explain much and with my other problems, I did not think to ask much about it, other than my score was a 2.9 in my back, and have a moderate to severe chance of broken bones. That is pretty scary so I ask no questions, just give me some med’s to correct it. Well as you know when I started to investigate what ostosprosis was and how to help it, my mind is full of unanswered questions. Is osteoporosis contributing to my middle back pain and have something to do with my muscle spasms that I have. I don't know but maybe this osteoporosis is causing a lot of my other problems that I thought were because of my bulging disc in my neck. Any thoughts are much appreciated, kind of in the blind right now, do not know weather to start the fosamax or not, it is kind of hard to take if the first thing to do is grab a cup of coffee and then take my other med’s to function in the mornings…..And I am only 45 what will I be at 50, an old woman????????? Thanks and God Bless, Denise

     
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    Old 11-28-2007, 12:54 PM   #2
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Hi Denise,
    I was just as shocked and didn't understand osteoporosis when I got diagnosed. My surgeon gave me Fosamax to take for 4 months prior to back surgery. At the time I had no idea that it would take alot longer than that to incrase my bone density. I took three Fosamax pills and my stomach/GI was on fire so I had to stop it immediately. My bone density was even less than your's is so I was quite worried although I believe my back pain is due to disc degeneration not osteoporosis. Some posters have reported that the medications caused horrible bone pain and others have reported that that they have pain from a fractured vetebrae. I don't know if osteoporosis causes muscle spasms but disc bulges do for sure because I have them. How was your neck bone density tested? I have had DEXA scans which only reads the hips and spine, and then portable machines that read the heel only. Did you get an xray to make sure that you don't have a fracture?

    As far as how Fosamax and other bisphosphonates works I hope someone else comes along to explain it because I don't know how to. I do know that I've decided not to take those as my only option is by IV infusion and I feel the risks are too high for dental complications and pain. I did do 2 years on Forteo but now there's not many options left although my doctors want me to do IV bisphosphonates and I continue to decline and exercise, take Calcium supplements, and eat dairy products. Hope this helps you some.

     
    Old 11-28-2007, 01:52 PM   #3
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Thanks Taape,

    I had a dexa scan only of the hips and spine. I had a MRI done a while back because of the pain between my shoulder was so bad, but nothing showed as being wrong. I sit at a desk all day and get up and move when I can, but some days my back just hurts clear to my bones. My Doctor thinks it is just the stress of sitting, I cannot take muscle relaxers, they do not agree with me for some reason. My neck actually does not hurt, hurt but the significant pain is in my back, cramps down both legs(nerve damage) and muscle spams, just when I sit in my recliner and relax, bamm they hit. I asked my Doctor if the OP was the cause of my bone pain and she said "it might be take the medicine and we will see if it improves", I took that as wow great finally we will see, but I was like you, thinking it was going to be a quick fix, now I am thinking, NOT!!!!

    Yes I am hoping that others here will give me their expert opinion, sometimes I hate reading and investagating on the internet, it is so confusing...Thanks for your help glad to know there are others out there like me and that I am not the only confused one.

     
    Old 11-28-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Denise,
    So many people on this board have so much knowledge about these drugs. I hope they answer you shortly.
    I hae osteopena and my (former) endo put me on Actonel. I was so nauseaus that I stopped after three weeks.
    I was told osteoporosis does not hurt...that you cannot tell you have it. So perhaps your back pain is from..other source...I know my pain in lower back and hip is from disc and a little osteoarthitis...
    Hoping you find the answers to ease your mind...
    M

     
    Old 11-28-2007, 06:22 PM   #5
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    I was on Fosamax for only 11 weeks. After a couple of weeks my jaw started aching. I also started waking up in the middle of the nite which I've never done except to go to the bathroom. I started feeling nauseous and I gained 10 lbs. It was then that I started doing some research and found this site.

    I told my doctor I was quitting. I'm now with a naturopath and taking Strontium Citrate, Ca supplements with magnesium and lots of Vit D.

    After quitting the Fosamax everything returned to normal within a week. I still have 2 of the 10 lbs to lose though.

     
    Old 11-28-2007, 06:24 PM   #6
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Hi Clerklady: I'm so sorry for all your problems!! The way I understand these osteo drugs, is that antiresorptives (fosamax-boniva-actenol, hrt, calcitonin) just "slow" bone loss they don't actually build bone. The thinking is if the bone loss is slowed then you end up with a net increase in bone since the destruction is under control so to speak. The only meds that actually build bone are anabolics (Forteo-Strontium Ranelate). I've never heard that fosamax helps with the absorption of nutrients, but maybe they do. For instance you take calcium, and vitamin D is the thing that transports the calcium to the bone, so those two are crucial together for that reason, unless you have some problems with your Vit D or Cal levels.

    Osteoporosis only causes pain if you have or have had a fracture, so I don't see how the med could help the pain. Bone pain is one of the side effects for fosamax et al, but I have talked to people that got pain relief from forteo (daily injection) for osteo. It sounds like your dr is trying to coax you into a treatment, so just be sure you do what's right for you.

    I have 5 bulging discs (C2-C7) in my neck ranging from 1.5-2.5 mm involving the dural sac, facet joints and joints of the Luschka and I don't believe they are a cause of osteoporosis, but more likely the result of degenerative disc which I have through my entire spine, but it is pretty painful. When you had the mri, did they scan your spine and shoulder or just one or the other. Obviously you have a problem that needs a diagnosis, so I would continue to find one. Did they do any tests for the other pain in your lower spine? You mentioned nerve damage and meds for that so I'm assuming you had some type of injury, in that area-is that correct? Muscle spasms are always a signal of an underlying injury so I would look into that and you have sciatica as well. Some ruptured discs don't hurt and some are real painful, it usually depends on the degree of bulge and what else is involved (nerves, spine, muscle etc).

    I'm not sure if any of this is osteo related, but regardless you need some help and a dx. Just read as much as you can about "all" the treatment options and make sure you include any pre existing conditions that could cause further probs like gi ones in making your decision. Bisphos's can be really hard on the stomach, and then some have no problems with them at all so try to figure out where your body is at before you decide on anything.

    Good Luck...

     
    Old 11-28-2007, 10:57 PM   #7
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Hi Denise,

    I too was prescribed Fosamax. Did research on the net. A lot of research. One of the best sites to get patients' opinions on various meds is called ''askapatient''. One goes there, types in the name of the med, and scrolls down reading the comments. It's an eyeopener! In the end I decided against taking Fosamax. The same would apply if I was prescribed Boniva, or Actonel, too, whether in the oral, or IV form. I decided to take calcium citrate with magnesium and vit d.

    I have NEVER heard of Fosamax being helpful in the absorption of nutrients to the bones. Do please ask the pharmacist where he/she got this info. Perhaps you could post it on these boards.

    I too, have occasionally taken Diazepam, but not for muscle spasms. I was given a prescription for this med as I needed something to help me sleep on a 10 hr trans-atlantic flight! It worked, too. I suppose that docs prescribe it for various reasons, not just muscle spasms.

    I would highly recommend you read the book ''The Myth of Osteoporosis'', by Gillian Sanson. It comes highly recommended by other posters on these boards. I'm NOT saying that osteo is a ''myth'', no, of course not. But this book can help dispell a lot of the fear and hype (mainly from the drug manufacturers), related to this condition. I don't call it a ''disease'', as I personally don't believe it to be one. It's a condition, non life-threatening, and for most of us, it's just a natural part of the aging process.

    Last edited by montesflus; 11-28-2007 at 11:01 PM.

     
    Old 11-29-2007, 04:27 AM   #8
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Montesflus, I follow this board regularly and have posted on it several times. I find your postings so refreshing and so filled with common sense. I especially liked that you do not consider it a "disease". Important to be aware of, yes, and important to do something about, yes. But, I do agree that thanks to the drug companies women are being made to be so scared. I chose not to take the drugs after much research and also because of my many dental problems. I am so glad that I didn't take them for this past summer has been a dental nightmare which continues. The last thing I would have needed is jaw death! The other concerning thing for me about these drugs is that they stop the normal process of bone, what the body is supposed to do - replace old bone with new bone. I have read horror stories of women with breaks that do not heal because this process is stopped by the drugs. And, it concerns me that old bone is just being encased thus the possibility of bone actually being weaker. I too read "The Myth of Osteoporosis" at a time that I was scared to death. Yes, it is slanted a bit, but also filled with great information and definitely puts persepctive into what has become a very frightening diagnosis. I do not take that diagnosis lightly, but I also believe that women must handle it with intelligence, not just relying on drug company ads and scares. Anyway, thanks for your refreshing posts and for always adding a positive perspective.

    glowing4

     
    Old 11-30-2007, 10:25 AM   #9
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Thank you all for the valuable information. I do not know what to do at this point.
    I am due for new MRI's, I have been tested for arthritis by blood test and x-rays, they were all negative, but I am not ruling that out. The last MRI'S were done in 4 separate areas, my hips, my thoracic spine, my neck and my brain. The MRI of the neck showed bulging in 4 & 5, I think. My Dr. was killed in a car accident so I had to switch, and we are waiting for my records to be sent to my new one, before she will proceed she would like to look at my records. Then will order new MRI’s to see if anything has changed. I have had a nerve test and also been to neurologist. So far my old Doctor told me that the disc would heal on there own, that the nerve damage would heal on it’s own and I should be pain free in 6 months. Well NOT….With this new diagnosis of OP I was hoping that would be the answer to some of my problems. But oh well you are right about one thing it is not a diease, just a way of my body telling me I am getting older, which I hate because I have a 9 & 13 year old to chase after…….

    Desertbloom, I was in a car wreck when I was 14, but no other injuries to my neck. You are right that the disc in my neck do not hurt, I can tell when I have overdone it, but the way my hands, feet and back feels, like inflammation and hitting on the nerve bundle. So that is what the new med lycria is for, it is helping but I am not on a very strong dose, muscle spasm not every day but there are still there most days.

    So from all that have posted and shared information with me, some take supplements of calcium citrate w/mag and vitium D, and Strontium citrate and supplements. Do you see that is working and helping your OP??? Can these be bought over the counter.???
    Do they do a blood test to check your cal. And vit D levels? Maybe I need to do that also.

    I am not going to take the Foamex, my mother takes it ,but since Feb. diagnosed with RA, OP , a lung disease and non small cell cancer of the lung, she is starting treatment next week. I did notice that chemo and radiation do not mix with fosamax so she will no longer be taking that. But after all this is settle down for her she can start back or not, I am hoping that she will not, but I will talk to her rumatologist, he is the one who prescribed this for her. So my plate is full.
    I will also order the book; it really infuriates me that we can not get the correct information without some one trying to make money no matter what. A big thanks to you all. Let me know if what you are taking now has helped or any other information you have. God Bless you all, Denise

     
    Old 11-30-2007, 01:50 PM   #10
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Hi Denise: You should take some supplements like calcium, magnesium and D, plus do what you can for weight bearing exercises, provided it doesn't make any of your other back problems worse. My neck really hurts, but I'm going to physical therapy for traction, massage and exercise. I have trouble turning my neck in any direction so this therapy is helping. I also have numb arms from the radiculopathy (nerve pinching) in my cervical spine. Ruptured discs "can" heal on their own, and somtimes don't hurt at all, but mine does. I suppose it depends on how bad the bulge is, and if it's not to bad it can slip back into place. When I have the traction done at PT, that's what they are trying to achieve. There are also exercises that can help the disc move back into place. I take cymbalta for the nerve pain and it's helping a lot, but it doesn't do anything for bone, muscle or joint pain.

    If you haven't had your mineral/vitamin levels checked you probably should just to make sure everything is okay. They check vit D, calcium, phosphorous, in a blood test. Also calcium is checked in your urine as well to see how much you excrete.

    I've never tried strontium citrate, but others have and are having good results from it, you can buy it over the counter. I take forteo and my t-scores have improved tremendously.

    Best of luck to your mom as well.

    Good luck with all of this

    Last edited by DesertBloom; 11-30-2007 at 02:03 PM.

     
    Old 01-20-2008, 06:25 PM   #11
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    HI Denise - I too just got diagnosed with osteopenia (mispelled sorry) and was told I would need to take Boniva or Evista - I got online and was horrified by stories from people taking those drugs. I am scared to try anything!!! I am 58 and in good health - but I had no idea my bones were thinning so bad until I had the DEXA. (my mom has osteoperosis)

    I practice tai chi - which is a weight-bearing exercise and I hope to tell my dr my fears on Tuesday that I will continue my tai chi and also take Calm's Natural with Calcium (just ordered it today!). It has the magnesium and Vit D we need as well as calcium. I will also promise to lay out in the sun for 10 minutes daily during warmer weather - and I hate the sun as I don't want wrinkles!!!

    He had told me OTC is not good enough! So I don't know what to do - I thought IF I could tolerate Boniva samples or Evista samples for a couple of months - perhaps taking it for a year and being rigorous with my routine may help.

    I too am as confused as you!!!! I don't want to be a guinea pig! I don't want my jawbone falling off!
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    Old 01-20-2008, 08:16 PM   #12
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Hi Denise,
    I too got diagnosed with osteopenia a few months ago. I' m 57. Dr prescribed Actonel. I took 3 dsages and after each I was nauseaus and had ingidestion problems. I stoppd taking it,read alot and was on this site constantly. I now take alongwith my calcium magnesium and K2. I also take strontium before going to bed and do weight bearing exercises plus juming jacks! I am hopping this will all help I will be goingto a different doctor next time. Last endo was pretty adamant that I was goingto break something and be bed ridden if I didn't take drugs!!
    Remember there are other options. Explore all posibilities before making your OWN decisions...Good Luck...

     
    Old 01-23-2008, 05:22 PM   #13
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clerklady View Post
    Hello All,

    I have been reading the side effects of fosamax and they do not sound very good, wondering if I should put this stuff in my body. From what the pharmacist says is that fosamax helps with the absorption of the vital nutrients that my bones need, is that correct???. I take a calcium, mag. & zinc vitamin, do I need to continue that or add anything else. I also take Lycria for nerve damage, ultram for neck pain & back pain (bulging disc in my neck) and diazepam for muscle spasms. The main side effect is the back pain; I do not need more pain, and the jaw and teeth problems. Can anyone explain what the fosamax does and what else can I do, my Doctor did not explain much and with my other problems, I did not think to ask much about it, other than my score was a 2.9 in my back, and have a moderate to severe chance of broken bones. That is pretty scary so I ask no questions, just give me some med’s to correct it. Well as you know when I started to investigate what ostosprosis was and how to help it, my mind is full of unanswered questions. Is osteoporosis contributing to my middle back pain and have something to do with my muscle spasms that I have. I don't know but maybe this osteoporosis is causing a lot of my other problems that I thought were because of my bulging disc in my neck. Any thoughts are much appreciated, kind of in the blind right now, do not know weather to start the fosamax or not, it is kind of hard to take if the first thing to do is grab a cup of coffee and then take my other med’s to function in the mornings…..And I am only 45 what will I be at 50, an old woman????????? Thanks and God Bless, Denise

     
    Old 01-23-2008, 05:52 PM   #14
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    I was prescribed Boniva and took for one year to treat Osteopena in my hips. I quite taking because I could not afford, and friends were warning me about long term affects. About a month after getting off the Boniva, I started having severe stomach problems. If I ate something solid, about 30 minutes later I was doubled over with pain. I thought it was a bug at first but this went on for over a week. I have never had stomach problems in my life. I made an appointment with my Dr., long story short, they thought it was and ulcer and I was sent for an upper GI. The technician asked a lot of questions and felt like it was the Boniva. It turned out to be acid reflux which can be a side affect from Boniva. I have recovered from the acid reflux and now my Dr. wants me to take the Fosamax. After reading what everyone has written, it has helped me decide NOT to take any of the bone replacement prescriptions. I went to a local health food and vitamin store and took what they recommended. They are very very helpful. They are against all of those products as well. I have been taking the liquid Magnesium & Calcium with D and really does taste very good. Some of the health/vitamin stores have in house doctors to answer any questions and make recommendations.
    I really do love my doctor, and have been happy with her otherwise, I'm not bashing her at all. We don't have to do everything they tell us to do.

    I hope this will help in your decision.

    Peach

    Last edited by peachnfla; 01-23-2008 at 05:53 PM.

     
    Old 01-23-2008, 05:54 PM   #15
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    Re: Newly Diagnosed prescribed Fosamax?????

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by peachnfla View Post
    I was prescribed Boniva and took for one year to treat Osteopena in my hips. I quite taking because I could not afford, and friends were warning me about long term affects. About a month after getting off the Boniva, I started having severe stomach problems. If I ate something solid, about 30 minutes later I was doubled over with pain. I thought it was a bug at first but this went on for over a week. I have never had stomach problems in my life. I made an appointment with my Dr., long story short, they thought it was and ulcer and I was sent for an upper GI. The technician asked a lot of questions and felt like it was the Boniva. It turned out to be acid reflux which can be a side affect from Boniva. I have recovered from the acid reflux and now my Dr. wants me to take the Fosamax. After reading what everyone has written, it has helped me decide NOT to take any of the bone replacement prescriptions. I went to a local health food and vitamin store and took what they recommended. They are very very helpful. They are against all of those products as well. I have been taking the liquid Magnesium & Calcium with D and really does taste very good. Some of the health/vitamin stores have in house doctors to answer any questions and make recommendations.
    I really do love my doctor, and have been happy with her otherwise, I'm not bashing her at all. We don't have to do everything they tell us to do.

    I hope this will help in your decision.

    Peach

     
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