Here's the thing about websites like this. The majority of people who respond are those who had true or suspected side effects of a medication.
There are no guarantees of a side effect free result of anything you put in or on your body. The fact is, these medicines do work to lower your risk of having a fracture. I am positive that you would much rather have a nosebleed than a hip or vertebral fracture that could greatly impact your independence and way of life.
My mother has a friend who whined about the "awful" side effects of her osteo med. She had a wrist fracture pruning her camellia bushes. She had the bone set. It wouldn't heal. She had surgery. It still wasn't healing properly. She had the bone rebroken and more surgery. It's been months and she's still living with hardware protruding from her arm to hold the bones in place. Now she whines about stupidly not taking the medication.
There is nothing 100% safe and side effect free. Think peanut allergies. Peanuts are good and natural - and yet, they can kill those with allergies or sensitivities. Prednisone is a drug that literally saves lives and enables people to breathe. It has terrible side effects. Would you not take it due to the side effects if it enabled you to breathe and move? Antidepressants also make life bearable for millions of people. They too have multiple warnings on the boxes. Yet people take them in order to function and take their chances on not having a serious, or any, reaction.
If I had to take an osteoporosis medication, I'd be thankful I had the medication to take and I would run to the nearest pharmacy to get the script filled. I've seen too many people who can't hug their spouses without breaking a rib, who can't pick up their grandchildren or groceries with having a vertebral fracture and who spend months in rehab hoping for a full recovery after having a hip fracture. To me, that's not worth the chance of a side effect that may or may not be a true result of a medication.View Thread
Actonel, Boniva, Fosamax and Reclast are all bisphosphonates. Reclast is given in an annual IV injection. Boniva can also be given as a quarterly injection.
Oral bisphosphonates do cause increased gastric distress for people who already have issues with this and some who don't. By doing the Reclast (or Boniva injections) you get the benefit of the drug by eliminating the gastric issue.
The Reclast is also filed under your health, not RX, insurance as it is given in a medical setting.
With your T-scores, you certainly meet the criteria for a medication. Without it, your bones will not become stronger.
It's good that you're taking the calcium. It enables the medications to work properly. Make sure you take your calcium with meals for better absorption and no more than 600 mg at a time.
I'm assuming your Vit D 1000 IU is in addition to what's in your calcium? Do you also take a multivitamin? Without a doctor's instruction, taking more than 2000 IU is not recommended.
Also avoid any bending forward of the spine. No abs, Pilates, toe touches, crunches, etc. You'll want to pivot from the hips, not the spine. No twisting (side to side) of the spine either.
I'd advise taking some ibuprofen before the Reclast infusion to lessen any pain with the procedure. Good luck to you.View Thread
If your blood test shows your Vit D levels are low, your doctor will usually prescribe a booster dose of 50,000 IU at least once and maybe more often. Depends on your need and body's absorption of it. After that he may have you take OTC Vitamin D in 5000 IU doses until you stabilize. The recommended dosage is 1000 IU a day.
Taking more without a doctor's OK, can be harmful.
Look for the UPS symbol on your supplement to insure a quality product.View Thread
How old are you? Have you fractured any bones since age 40? What are your T-scores? Are you on hormone therapy?
Your history of steroid therapy puts you in a high risk for fractures category. You definitely need a medication. The benefit you'd get from being on one far outweighs any slight chance of a side effect from that med. More people who take these meds report NO side effects. It's the ones who notice anything different after beginning one who talk. Whether you have side effects or not, the medicines do reduce your chances of breaking a bone, and that's a good thing.
Your steroids are much more risky than any osteo med, so make your choice based on your lifestyle, any gastro issues you might have and cost. They're all effective.
My personal advice would be Reclast. The reason being that you only get it once a year and don't have to worry about refills or taking it while traveling, etc. It's also paid for out of your health insurance, not drug policy because it's given in a medical setting. My brother and mother take this with no problems.
I wouldn't do the Prolia unless other meds don't work. Our medical director, who is an osteoporosis expert as well as rheumatologist, says she won't prescribe it for her patients except as a last resort. Her preference for whatever reasons.
Boniva is good. A lot of people just prefer not to take the pill, especially if they have problems with heartburn or Reflux.
Just remember that all of them require calcium and vitamin D in order to work effectively. The calcium (1200 mg/day) should be taken in 500-600 mg increments several hours apart. If you take a supplement, take it with meals for maximum absorption. The Vit D can be taken any time. Most people like to get a calcium supplement with D.
You can also go to the National Osteoporosis Foundation website (www.nof.org) for a lot of information about the different drugs and all things osteoporosis.View Thread
I think they're denying Binosto because it's a new medication and patents are still pending. It's pretty Standard Operating Procedure nowadays for insurance companies to deny at first, then capitulate to those who challenge and challenge.
Why are you opposed to trying another medication? If you have a problem swallowing pills, I'd suggest Reclast. It works the same way as Binosto but is an annual IV injection. Because it's given in a hospital or doctor's office setting, your health insurance or Medicare B pays for it instead of RX insurance.
While I agree with your argument about being a paying customer, the reality is.....it doesn't work that way anymore. They'll tell you that you can still get the med you want, but you'll have to pay full price. Stinks, doesn't it?
Just know that in order for any osteoporosis medication to work effectively, you must consume 1200 mg of calcium every day and 1000 IU of Vitamin D. Without these, the medication doesn't have anything to work with. Calcium should be spread out during the day for maximum absorption.
Good luck with your battle. I've been there. Took me 2 years, but I prevailed. I wouldn't advise you going without medication for longer than a month.View Thread
The stories about subtrochanteric femur fractures are not quite complete.
The information from them is coming from a study by a group in New Zealand who has made it its life work to disparage the osteo drugs.
The study was not a controlled study. The results are not reliable.
What is not being said is that these fractures happen just as often (which is not often) to people who have never been on the bisphosphonate drugs.
I'm so sorry you've had this fracture. It may very well be that your bones were already at high risk for fracture. With RA, I'm sure you were taking medications that interfere with bone health.
The osteo drugs do not carry a no fracture guarantee. They only reduce your risk for fractures. Also remember too that if you do not consume 1200 mg of calcium, the drugs are not as effective. It's like hiring a bricklayer and not giving him any bricks.
I understand about the fear of falling and the balance issues. It's ironic that a fear of falling actually increases your chances of falling. I would suggest that you look on the National Osteoporosis Foundation website (www.nof.org) and look at the balance exercises they have. Do them. Taking a yoga or T'ai Chi class would also help with balance and strength building.
Another suggestion is to wear a backpack instead of carrying a purse. It leaves your hands free in case you stumble and it also aligns your spine naturally.
You're too young to live like this. There are options for you. For sure you need to be on another medication to improve the health of your bones. You don't want another fracture. For what it's worth, I totally do not believe the Boniva caused your fracture. I think your bones were not in good shape either because you never reached your maximum bone mass, your genetic history or your RA meds weakened your bones.
Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Do what you can now to become as strong as you can.View Thread
All good choices. Also many foods now have calcium added or just naturally. The trick is to look at the food labels to see how much calcium is in a serving. Usually on the label it is given as a % instead of milligrams. Just change the % to a 0 and you have the amount of calcium in a product.
Example: If it says 20%, that's 200 mg. If it says 35%, that's 350 mg.
More than 500 mg at a time will not be absorbed, so spread it out throughout the day.View Thread
Women need 1200 mg of calcium a day. Because the body can only absorb about 600 mg at a time, it can be tricky to get in the required amount every day. That's why it's probably a good idea to take a supplement.
The good thing about calcium supplements is there's no good or bad. We do tell our patients to avoid oyster shell because of the small risk of lead.
Read your label carefully. Many health food stores sell a calcium that requires many pills a day to get in your required amount.
Look at the serving size. Calcium carbonate - like Oscal and Viactive - are one pill per serving. That would get you 600mg.
Calcium citrate, like Citracal, require 2 pills per serving to equal 600mg.
Get a supplement that also has Vitamin D. Take them with meals for better absorption.
Also look at your food labels. Many products have calcium in them. It's not just about milk now. For example, Orange Juice with calcium has 350 mg per 8 oz serving. That's more than milk!
Read the label for the calcium per serving. If it's given in a %, simply drop the % and replace it with a 0. So..OJ with 35% calcium would equal 350 mg. Earth Grains bread with 10% per slice would be 100 mg per slice.
Keep track of what you normally consume in a day, and make up the rest with a supplement.View Thread