In August 2006, I first warned you of a serious side effect from Fosamax and other osteoporosis drugs. These bisphosphonates can cause bone necrosis in your jaw. Bone necrosis is a condition that leads to a permanent loss of blood supply to bone tissues. Without enough blood, the bones die and collapse. And once bone tissue dies, there?s nothing you can do to restore it.
Because of this damage to the jawbone, many dentists now refuse to treat patients who take these drugs. But the situation is much worse than we thought.
Originally, we were told that jawbone necrosis affected only 1 in 20,000 people a year. But now researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that it?s nearly triple that amount. Doctors have already written over 190 million prescriptions for these drugs. That translates to 5.7 million people at risk for developing this painful, debilitating disease.
And it?s not just the jawbone that can die.
These same researchers found strong evidence that osteoporosis drugs can destroy bone tissue in the shoulders, knees, and hips.
Just a few weeks ago, the FDA issued a warning saying that bisphosphonates could cause severe bone, joint, or muscle pain. They?re telling health professionals to evaluate their patients to see if bisphosphonates are the culprit.
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I say, don?t use them! There are safer alternatives.
One of the most important nutrients for good bone health is strontium, a mineral that?s just finding its way onto the supplement market.
If you?ve been taking any bisphosphonate, you don?t have any time to waste. Find a supplement with strontium to take along with equal amounts of calcium and magnesium. For additional information on these minerals, check my website (www.womenshealthletter.com
). All past articles are available at no charge to newsletter subscribers.
If you can?t find a supplement with strontium, it?s included in an excellent formula from Advanced Bionutritionals called Ultimate Bone Support BoneSupport.html
. Be sure to take it away from calcium and magnesium, since strontium blocks the absorption of these minerals.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
University of British Columbia