Posts Tagged ‘Fosamax’

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

“Bisphosphonate Holiday” 2014

March 8, 2014 @ 8:56 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

“You are entering a Data-Free Zone”   That was unfortunately the messasge at the joint meeting of the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) last month.  We simply do not have data from a study involving tens of thousands of patients.  We do know some things that are helpful.

Bisphosphonates build up in bone over time.  After about 5 years of Bisphosphonate therapy, you should have enough medication in your bones to last for additional years.  How many years?  That depends.  Different individuals lose Bisphosphonates from their bones at different rates.  Different Bisphosphonates tend to stay in bone longer or shorter than others.  We call the time you are able to stop taking medication for a while (because you have enough in your bones already) ”Bisphosphonate Holiday”.