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    Old 01-25-2002, 07:55 AM   #1
    Ellen58
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    Post Actonel

    Hello,

    I'm new to this board and I'm seeking information
    about Actonel BEFORE I start taking it. My doctor pre-
    scribed 30 mg. once a week. I had not even heard of
    Actonel and would like to know more about its side effects throughout the country...is it causing a lot of
    serious problems overall? I would appreciate any com-
    ments from those of you who are taking this drug and
    from those who are knowledgeable about its overall performance.
    Thank you.

     
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    Old 01-25-2002, 09:58 AM   #2
    bjg
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    THIS IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ACTONEL..IT IS MADE BY PROCT OR & GAMBLE..THEIR TOLL FREE NMBR IS 800-836-0658.IF YOU CALL THEM THEY CAN TELL YOU WHAT THE DOCUMENTED SIDE EFFECTS ARE,OR YOU CAN LOOK THEM UP ON THEIR WEB SITE.I DO KNOW THAT BEFORE YOU START TAKING ACTONEL YOU SHOULD HAVE A BLOOD TEST TO CHECK FOR LOW SERUM CALCIUM..I TOOK IT BRIEFLY THIS PAST SUMMER, AND HAD TO STOP. WHEN I TOOK EITHER FOSAMAX OR ACTONEL I HAD URINARY PROBLEMS,WHICH I REPORTED TO THE MANUFACTURER OF BOTH DRUGS. I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING THE BOARDS TO SEE IF ANY ELSE HAD URINARY PROBLEMS ON EITHER DRUG..BUT HAVE FOUND ONLY A FEW PEOPLE REPORT THAT THEY HAD SIMILAR PROBLEMS...THE SIDE EFFECTS THAT I HAVE SEEN DOCUMENTED IN LITERATURE FOR ACTONEL ARE..UPSET STOMACH,ABDOMINAL PAIN,CONSTIPATION,DIARRHEA,GAS,HEADACHE. MORE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS ARE DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING,CHEST PAIN,OR SEVERE HEARTBURN..IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE YOU SHOULD STOP TAKING ACTONEL IMMEDIATELY.......GOOD LUCK

     
    Old 01-27-2002, 08:25 AM   #3
    Ellen58
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    Thanks for the response from bjg the Junior Member regarding my request for info about Actonel BEFORE taking it. My doctor did NOT do any bloodwork to check for low serum calcium which does upset me. Also, when I asked him about side effects he said that there are none. Well, I knew better than that. There's always
    side effects for someone. I'm disappointed in my doctor. I will postpone taking Actonel until I feel comfortable with doing so. Will also call Proctor & Gamble to get the documented results on side effects.
    Isn't it a shame that we can't accept our doctor's word
    for things when we are paying them for their advice!

     
    Old 01-27-2002, 02:37 PM   #4
    bjg
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    GLAD I COULD HELP..I GUESS THERE ARE 2 DIFFERENT SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT ON TAKING MEDS..I LIKE TO BE INFORMED AND KNOW WHAT I AM PUTTING MYSELF AT RISK FOR SIDE EFFECT WISE.THE DOWN SIDE OF THAT OFCOURSE IS THAT IM SURE THERE ARE TIMES WHEN I DONT TAKE SOMETHING FEARING THE SIDE EFECTS THAT MITE DO ME LOTS OF GOOD....BUT I HAVE A FRIEND WHO GOES TO THE DR..AND WHEN HE TELLS HER TO TAKE A CERTAIN RX ..SHE DOES..AND SHE SAYS SHE DONT ASK AND DONT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS...SAYS IT MITE SORT OF PSYCHE HER OUT AND SHE COULD BE WORRYING AND NOT TAKING THE DRUG FOR NOTHING..SINCE NOT EVERYONE HAS SIDE EFFECTS...HER THEORY IS WHAT YOU DONT KNOW WONT HURT YOU...GOOD LUCK WITH WHATEVER YOU DECIDE ABOUT THE ACTONEL

     
    Old 02-06-2002, 10:00 PM   #5
    NancyH
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    I've been taking actenol for a year now and so far so good. Actually I played with it on and off as I was scared of the side effects but since I have severe bone loss I stopped playing and got down to business. My Dr said that the side effects were mild compared to the debilitating condition osteo can produce, that scared me to be more serious. I checked it out and found the side effects were sometimes bothersome and eventually fade but not always. I guess trying it is the only way to find out.

     
    Old 02-07-2002, 06:19 AM   #6
    Ellen58
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    Thank you Nancy for sharing your experience. I'm
    58 and was told that I have severe osteo also. Hearing
    this naturally scares one but I do hate that the Dexa
    scan is the only method of measuring this. I have read
    that the Dexa does not measure such things as the microarchitecture of one's bones so how do I know that the Dexa results are something that I should take too seriously. One just doesn't really know what course to take. Did your doctor do any bloodwork to check for
    low serum calcium before you started taking it? Also how many mg. are you taking?

     
    Old 02-08-2002, 07:59 PM   #7
    TCML355
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    I've been on Actonel for about three weeks now. Have had a little discomfort with stomach pain but, I had an inflamed stomach prior to taking this med. I tried a couple of meds. Fosamax and Miacalcin. Had bad reaction to fosamax. Didn't have a problem with Miacalcin but Dr. felt that this med. does very little and wanted me on Actonel.
    I did take a blood test and urine test just last week. To be honest I'm not sure why the Dr. wanted this, but I will get back to you as to the why and the results.
    Terri

     
    Old 02-09-2002, 10:56 AM   #8
    Ellen58
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    Terri,

    Thanks for your reply. How many mg. of Actonel are you taking? I did call the 1-800 # for Proctor & Gamble and talked with a pharmacist just the other day.
    She told me that they are studying the 30 mg. dose now.
    That made me feel as if I would be a guinea pig if I take that dosage.
    I know that some drugs are very helpful to us but
    some can cause great damage too. Actonel was FDA approved in 1998, I believe, so to me that's still new and makes me even more concerned about taking it right now. Would like to have more information as to the number of serious side effects it is causing. I took Fosamax twice, a lower dosage the second time, and experienced tightening or squeezing in my chest both times.
    I'm in a unique situation too and that's why I'm so concerned about taking this new drug right now. My husband is totally disabled and I am his primary caregiver 24/7. I feel good now with no serious health problems and I don't want to invite trouble to a situation that is already hard. I would like to hear back from you.

     
    Old 02-09-2002, 08:21 PM   #9
    TCML355
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    Hi Ellen,
    I am taking 5 mgs. of Actonel daily. After my bad experience with fosamax, which I was taking 70 mgs. a week, I prefer sticking to a lesser amount daily of Actonel and hope that I won't have the stomach problems etc. that I had on fosamax. I agree Actonel is relatively new, but since I have severe osteoporosis feel I have to give it a try. My Dr. said I should get back to him if stomach pain increases and we will try something else. Truthfully the only med. I haven't tried that I know of is Evista.
    Will keep in touch,
    Terri

     
    Old 02-17-2002, 06:46 PM   #10
    NancyH
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    Ellen58. Yes my Dr did check for low serum calcium, they do that to see if there is other reasons for the bone loss and how your body uses calcium. Mine was fine. I take 30mg once a week and believe me I am very paranoid of drugs or results of tests. I asked for my results and took them to an independant radiologist/rhumatologist and tests were as bad as the Dr said. I have been taking actenol for a short time so the side effects haven't manifested yet, I also have pernicious anemia which gives me severe stomach problems and I always assume anything new will upset the balance. You will find that there is always a margin of error but rarely in bone scans and as for bone structure it is very easy to see the difference, the radiologist pointed out to me normal versus bone abnormality.

     
    Old 02-18-2002, 06:27 AM   #11
    Ellen58
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    Nancy,

    Thanks for your reply. Sounds like you're like I am in regard to taking a new drug. I'm still undecided as what to do about taking the 30 mg. dose of Actonel once a week. I may be damned if I do and I may be damned if I don't. Scary, isn't it? Please post if you have any problems and if I decide to take it I will post also.
    Thanks again,
    Ellen

     
    Old 03-11-2002, 05:57 PM   #12
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    Sorry it took so long to get back but I had a new grandchild so been busy with the new arrival. Anyway my Dr did do the serum level and other blood workup before he prescribed anything. Have you decided to start taking it yet? I also eat a high calcium diet and exercise 5 times a week on the treadmill.

     
    Old 03-12-2002, 06:47 AM   #13
    Ellen58
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    Hi Nancy,

    Congratulations on the new grandchild! Is it a boy or a girl and is this the first one? Our adult child is 27 and not married so we don't have any grandchildren.
    I have not started taking the Actonel yet. I do wonder from time to time if I am doing the right thing or not. I take calcium supplements and exercise four times a week. I'm 58 but worry about taking it for the rest of my life which I assume would be the case. I sometimes think that a problem with the esophagus would
    be as bad for me as the osteo. Sure wish I could see into the future, don't you? Then we'd know for sure what to do!! My husband is totally disabled and has been now for a little over three years. That makes these decisions even harder for me.
    Thanks for responding to my previous post. Let me hear from you again.

     
    Old 03-17-2002, 10:57 PM   #14
    NancyH
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    Hi Ellen58, our newest was a boy, this is my 4th grandchild(I also have 4 step grandchildren)and hopefully the last. My daughter and husband 6yr old and the new baby live with us right now, it is so trying but also rewarding in some ways. I just turned 54 and I still get wishy washy with my actenol, I'm always thinking I can slow the process down with a high clacium intake so sometimes I miss a dose. Mine is most severe in the hips and lumbar and thorasic. I figure that exercise and nutrition has to help as much as the drugs(IMHO)but then I hate to take pills. I even drink my vit/min whenever I can. I guess with your hubby being disabled you may wish to look at the alternative to NOT taking care of this. As osteo progresses you may suffer from minor hairline fractures of the vertebrae and NOT even know it, everyone gets a backache now and then right? Most of them you won't even feel. If you get enough of those fractures your back will start to develope that widows hump on the upper back(you've seen little old ladies with that right?)I forgot the medical term for it tho. From there it gets even more debilatating, my grandmother lived in a fetal position from the age of 63 to 66 before she died, everytime she moved she broke a bone. So how well can you care for hubby from a wheelchair or the bed? Something to think about ok?

     
    Old 03-18-2002, 05:37 AM   #15
    Ellen58
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    Hi Nancy,

    It was good to hear from you again. You certainly do have a full house with two children and two other adults but I'm sure it has its good and bad aspects. I still can't decide about the Actonel. I do back strengthening exercises and although osteo runs in my family, not one of them had any problems with it. That sure was a sad situation with your grandmother. I just don't know what to do. I don't like the thoughts of taking such a potent med. for many years and yet the thoughts of possibly being debilitated are scary too.
    Ellen
    P.S. I don't recall having a backache in a lonnnggg time.

     
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