Posts Tagged ‘Alendronate’

Recent studies have shown that the order in which we use osteoporosis medications matters.  Traditionally most docs have used Antirsorptives first to preserve bone.  All osteoporosis medications except one are Antiresorptives.  Only when that failed, would they consider the Anabolic medication, Forteo, to build new bone.

As a practicing orthopedic surgeon, I started treating osteoporosis in the worst of my fracture patients.  It was obvious that they needed to build bone first since there was very little bone to preserve.  Therefore, I usually started with the Anabolic, Forteo.  Once I had built up the bone, I preserved that improved bone with an Antiresorptive osteoporosis medication.

As the National and International Osteoporosis Foundations, (NOF and IOF)  are now focusing on preventing second fractures, many more practioners are treating patients with one or more fractures.  They are facing the dillema of how to prevent fractures in bone that is not good enough.  None of the Antiresorptives work as well in patients with multiple fractures as they do in patients who have not yet fractured.

This year studies have shown that using Forteo after an Antiresorptive usually results in Forteo taking several months to overcome the previous slowing of bone turnover,  Therefore, 2 years of Forteo results in less improvement when used AFTER the Antiresorptives tested, than we normally see in a patient who uses Forteo first.

At NOF and IOF this year speakers suggested that we change our approach.  They suggested using an Anabolic first, and an Antiresorptive second should be the standard sequence for best results.

Would you rather only trying to preserve your bones after they have proven insufficient in multiple fractures?  Or would you want to improve your bone first, and then prserve that improved bone matrix and improving BMD?

Do everything you can to improve and preserve your Bone Health.

Jay Ginther, MD

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.