Bisphosphonates – Part 1
Bisphosphonates are by far the most common and best known Antiresorptive medications for osteoporosis. Over 90% of persons taking Osteoporosis medication are taking Bisphosphonates. Fosamax, generic Alendronate, Actonel, Boniva, Reclast and Zometa are all Bisphosphonates.
Bisphosphonates accumulate within the surfaces of your bone waiting for Osteoclast cells that eat away bone to free them from the bone matrix by dissolving the bone. They then disable or kill the cells that eat away bone. This solves “Osteoclasts Gone Wild” and slows down the too rapid bone turnover of Osteoporosis.
Bisphosphonates last a very long time in bone. Actonel and Boniva last for years. Fosamax, generic Alendronate, Reclast and Zometa last for even longer. The more these medications accumulate in your bone the more effectively they disable and kill Osteoclast cells. These medications slow down bone turnover. To prevent slowing down bone turnover too much we now use a “Drug Holiday”.
Jay Ginther, MD
2008 / Revised Feb 2011