Posts Tagged ‘Alendronate’

Anabolic Medications Make New Bone

October 6, 2014 @ 7:51 am
posted by Dr Ginther

Anabolic medication for osteoporosis actually increases bone thickness and strength!  Antiresorptive medications for osteoporosis (Fosamax, Alendronate, Actonel, Atelvia, Boniva, Evista, Reclast, Prolia) only preserve bone.

We have talked about all of the Antiresorptive medications over the last 2 months.  They are excellent treatment if slowing down the OsteoClasts (cells that eat away your bone) is sufficient.  That is not always the case.

Now it is time to talk about something completely different.  Anabolic medication stimulates the OsteoBlasts (cells that make new bone matrix).  OsteoBlasts can rebuild your bones.  If you have Fractures, your bones may need to be rebuilt.

Forteo (Teriparatide) is the only Anabolic medication for osteoporosis in the USA.  Close cousins of Forteo are available in other countries.

You may need the Anabolic, Forteo, if you have a hip fracture, multiple other fractures, or if VFA testing reveals a Vertebral Compression Fracture.  A DXA T-score well below -2.5 can be reason enough without fracture.

Glucocorticoid (Cortico-Steroid) medications (Prednisone, Steroid Inhalers) specifically supress OsteoBlasts (cells that make new bone).  Stimulating the OsteoBlasts with the Anabolic, Forteo, can offset the bone loss from Steroid medications.  Smoking also supresses OsteoBlasts, leading to bone loss.  Stopping Smoking would be best, but Forteo can help.

Not everyone needs an Anabolic, but some individuals do.  A Complete Bone Health Evaluation will tell you if an Anabolic is right for you.

More about Forteo (Teriparatide) next time.

Jay Ginther, MD

Acute Phase Reaction

July 26, 2014 @ 6:12 am
posted by Dr Ginther

An Acute Phase Reaction can occur the first time a person is exposed to a new class of medication.  With each subsequent dose, half as many people have the reaction.  The symptoms are like mild flu for 3 to 5 days.  The treatment is lots of fluids, and Tylenol (Acetaminophen) if needed.

Persons who have never taken any bisphosphonate before, can experience an acute phase reaction the first time they take Reclast (Zolendronate in osteoporosis dose).  This happens in about one-third of persons who have not taken Fosamax (Alendronate), Boniva (Ibandronate), Actonel (Risedronate), or Atelvia (enteric coated Risedronate) before their first dose of Reclast.  This happens in about one-sixth of persons after their second dose.  Third dose is down to one-twelfth.

Acute phase reaction is a significant nuisance.  However, a Fracture is a significant problem.  Reclast will reduce Fracture Risk by more than half compared to no osteoporosis medication at all.  See the visuals for fracture risk in women and men without osteoporosis medication.  Remember to check for good enough kidney funtion (GFR at least 45) before each dose.

It’s all about avoiding Fractures.

Jay Ginther, MD

Bisphosphonates are the most commonly prescribed Antiresorptive medications used to prevent or treat Ostoeporosis.  We know them as Fosamax (Alendronate), Boniva (Ibandronate), Actonel (Risendronate), Atelvia (enteric coated Risendronate), and IV Reclast (Zolendronate).  All but the last are pills taken weekly or monthly.

If your bone is strong enough that preserving it is sufficient to prevent fractures, then Antiresorptive medication is what you need.  If you are able to follow the protocol of taking the pill on an empty stomach, followed by one or more full glasses of plain water, and eating or drinking nothing else for at least 30 minutes (60 for Boniva) while remaining upright, Oral Bisphosphonates are the medication for you.

Atypical Fracture of the Femur (AFF) and OsteoNecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) are rare complications of Untreated Osteoporosis.  They also occcur rarely in patients treated with long term Antiresorptives including: Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Allendronate, Ibandronate, Atelvia, Reclast, and Prolia, at a higher, but still very low, rate.  Neither has been reported in Evista.  Forteo is commonly used as a treatment for AFF and ONJ.

AFF and ONJ are rare even in patients treated for Osteoporosis with Antiresorptive medications.  Rates are estimated at between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 10,000.  Let’s label AFF (X),  ONJ (Z), and patients with neither (O).  Here is a graphic representation, if the worst case estimate is correct:

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOXOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

These are very rare problems, even in patients on Antiresorptive Osteoporosis Medications for over 5 years.  Fractures from Osteoporosis in patients Not taking Medications are much more common.  That Graphic next time.

Jay Ginther, MD