bisphosphonate

  1. Osteoporosis drugs may cause fractures

    For a moment there, it almost looked like the feds were doing their jobs.

    The FDA has issued a new warning about osteoporosis meds, practically admitting what I've said all along: Bisphosphonate drugs can actually BREAK the bones they're supposed to protect.

    Then, they said go ahead -- keep taking 'em! Don't these people read their own memos?

    As I told you earlier this year, studies have found that women who take these drugs can start to experience brittle bones at four years, and face an increased risk of hip fractures at five years. (Click here to read about it.)

    The feds looked the other way at the time -- but as hard as they try, they can't ignore the evidence. So now they plan to put a warning -- a plain one, not a black-boxer -- on all bisphosphonate meds used for osteoporosis, including Fosamax, Boniva, Atelvia and the yearly Reclast injection.

    They'll also issue a "medication guide" with the new warning. In other words, a brochure.

    Call me unimpressed.

    This isn't some abstract piece of research we're talking about here. Each one of these breaks represents a woman in a hospital, robbed of her independence. These women face long and painful recoveries, and some will never walk right again -- if they even manage to walk at all.

    And if you think that's bad, you should see some of the other side effects that come from these meds. They've been linked to heartburn, abdominal pain, fever, bone and muscle pain, low energy and low levels of calcium in the blood.

    These drugs have even been linked to esophageal cancer and necrosis of the jaw.

    Luckily, men and women alike don't need meds to protect their bones -- just a little help from the nutrients you should be getting anyway.

    And I'm not just talking about calcium here -- because too much calcium can actually break your bones, not save them.

    I wrote everything you need to know about bone health in The Douglass Report last year, and if you're a subscriber I urge you to login now and read the November, 2009 issue.

    And if you're not a subscriber, don't wait for a bone break. Sign up now.

  2. Osteoporosis meds lead to broken bones

    In addition to being incompetent, it looks like the bureaucratic brains in charge of the FDA are illiterate to boot.

    A pair of studies found that women who take bisphosphonate meds -- drugs that are supposed to fight off osteoporosis -- may actually have an increased risk of brittle bones and femur fractures.

    These unlucky women don't even have to be doing anything strenuous. They could just be walking along and suddenly -- CRACK! -- a bone breaks for no reason at all.

    But when the FDA found out about these studies, they sprang into their usual inaction -- quickly issuing a statement saying there's no clear connection between these meds and hip fractures... and telling women to keep right on taking them!

    See no evil, hear no evil... read no studies, especially when they concern a class of drugs that did $3.5 billion in business in 2008 alone.

    So let me tell you what the FDA won't: Long-term use of meds like Actonel, Boniva, Fosamax and Reclast have been linked to femur fractures. One of the studies found bones turning to peanut brittle at four years... and both studies found an increased risk of fracture at five years or more.

    The studies, presented at the annual conference of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, also found that the fractures tend to happen to otherwise perfectly healthy active women -- not nursing-home patients.

    But that's not the only bad news about these meds... that's just the latest bad news, because bisphosphonates have been linked to heartburn, abdominal pain, fever, bone and muscle pain, low energy and low levels of calcium in the blood.

    And if you think that's bad, these meds have also been linked to esophageal cancer and necrosis of the jaw.

    Ladies, if you want to ward off osteoporosis, skip the pills and drink more beer -- ideally India pale ales. As I told you just a few weeks ago, beer is the single best source of dietary silicon needed for strong bones.

    Then, invest in a good beach chair so you can spend more time in the sun making your own vitamin D... and while you're out there, visit my archives and read the November issue of the Douglass Report, where I have everything you need to know about osteoporosis prevention. If you're not a subscriber, you can sign up here.

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