After years of debate by health professionals regarding the efficacy and side effects of bone-building drugs (Foxamax, Boniva, Actonel, Reclast, etc.), the Food and Drug Administration finally addressed those concerns.
The FDA’s review, published this month in The New England Journal of Medicine, states that “After years of use, the drugs might lead to weaker bones in certain women, contributing to ‘rare but serious adverse events,’ including unusual femur fractures, esophageal cancer and osteonecrosis of the jaw, a painful and disfiguring crumbling of the bone.” These side effects may be rare; however, I know of a woman who took bone-building drugs for eleven years. Ten years later, her teeth are still falling out—definitely a “serious adverse event” in her life.
Though the news about bisphosphonates is bad, I was glad to see the mainstream media grasp the importance of the analysis and broadcast it (our local newspaper printed a New York Times News Service article by Tara Parker-Pope). Such “negative” reporting up to this point, it seems, has depended on health professionals outside of AMA circles.
One of the best ways to keep your bones healthy and strong is to make sure your body has adequate vitamin D. And one of the best sources of vitamin D is the sun. Spring is here! Step into the sunshine—weight-bearing exercise is also good for your skeleton.
Enjoy your good health! Becky