Posts Tagged ‘Osteoporosis medication’

Birthday Disease

December 16, 2014 @ 10:44 pm
posted by Dr. Ginther

“Why did I Fracture?” and “Why do I have Osteoporosis?” are common questions I hear from older women and men.  They are taking Calcium and Vitamin D3, eating a diet with Protein, Fruits and Vegetables, and Exercising regularly.  They are “doing everything right”, and still they have deteriorating bones.  What is wrong?

The simple answer is “Birthday Disease” – too many birthdays.  Increased Fracture Risk (Clinical Osteoporosis) is totally natural as we age.  Women after Menopause, and men after age 70, lose 1-2% of their Bone Mineral Density (BMD), and more of their Bone Strength, every year.

When I was in Medical School, 40 years ago, that was the end of the story.  Many older women (and some older men) became kyphotic (stooped over), fractured and fell, and either died or went to a nursing home for the rest of their lives.  Then, there was nothing we could do to stop it.  Today we can often prevent osteoporosis, fractures and misery.

Pharma Medical Liaison

November 14, 2014 @ 5:43 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Our Amgen Medical Liaison met with us this week.  Her job is to supply information which has been published or presented at major meetings.  She meets only with practitioners (MD, NP in our case) and cannot market any medications.

This is good.  For the first time in 5 years, I missed ASBMR (American Society for Bone & Mineral Research).  She was able to show us several studies presented at that meeting that were most helpful.

NP Katie and I, like most practitioners, always approach scientific papers with a critical eye.  The studies answered several questions.  They also raised further questions.  Perhaps those answers will come next year.

Legislators pass rules and regs to keep medical practitioners away from information supplied by persons employed by Pharma.  They fail to understand the value of critcally evaluating new scientific data.  Detailed information about each available medication is needed if we are to find the best osteoporosis medication for each patient each time.

No single osteoporosis medication is right for everyone all the time.  Every osteoporosis medication is the best choice for someone at some time.  There are times when no medication is the best choice.

The more information Katie and I have about medications, the smarter we are when helping to choose what is best for each individual.  No one can go to all meetings or read all published studies.  A Pharma Medical Liaison helps gather relevant information.

YOU too can gather information before and after you visit your doc.  Use the left column to find blogs about topics that interest you.  You can Take Control.

Jay Ginther, MD

Forteo is a daily shot.  That is a nuicence, but a small price to pay for the only Anabolic, the only osteoporosis medication which will increase bone mass in spongy (cancellous) bone.  Diabetics give themselves a daily shot for the rest of their lives.  Forteo is for only 2 years and uses a tiny insulin needle. 

People worry about the warning that lab rats got Osteosarcoma after being given very high doses of Teriparatide for the equivalent of 70 human years.  We have not seen this in humans, or chimps, or monkeys, or dogs.  Rats have bones that grow all their lives.  We do not give Forteo to growing humans, pregnant women, nursing women, persons with Paget’s Disease or unexplained elevated Alkaline Phosphatase, or persons who have had radiation to their bones.

Remember that you must take adequate Calcium, with food, spread out over 3 meals. You must take enough Vitamin D3 to be able to absorb Calcium.  You must eat enough Protein for your OsteoBlasts to make new bone matrix.

Forteo Increases Bone Thickness on the Inside

October 9, 2014 @ 5:19 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Forteo (Teriparatide) increases the thickness of the struts making up spongy (cancellous) bone.  Forteo is the only osteoporosis medication to do that.  It also makes the hard outer shell (cortical bone) thicker.  How?  Forteo stimulates OsteoBlasts.  They make bone matrix, the collagen protein that is more than 80% of bone.

Forteo also stimulates bone turnover.  Healthy bone is constantly being resorbed and replaced.  This allows bone to eliminate the micro-cracks that gradually accumulate with activity.  Bone is strongest when it is a mixture of older more calcified (stiffer) material mixed thoroughly with younger less calcified (somewhat bendable) material.  Cracks cannot enlarge.  Strength is better.  More force is required to fracture the bone.