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Are bisphosphonates making me unwell?

(46 Posts)
humptydumpty Wed 24-Apr-19 15:45:44

I started a course of 1 tab per week of Alendronate last week - no probs then, and took my 2nd on Monday. But last night woke at 4 in the morning with my stomach churning, not sure if I wanted to be sick or use the loo, stayed still and eventually it went. Still, have been feeling nauseous all day. Don't think it was anything I ate. Could it be the Alendronate, even though I took it on Monday and swallowedlots of water with it? Any experience, ladies?

B9exchange Wed 24-Apr-19 16:05:41

Abdominal pain is a relatively common side effect, 1 - 10% of people will get it. If it continues, ie your system doesn't get used to it after a few days, suggest you go back to your GP. Sorry you are suffering!

Marydoll Wed 24-Apr-19 16:33:16

humptydumpty , it's a common side effect.
I was on and off it for twenty years. When I first started taking it, you had to fast all night, but I always forgot and came downstairs and made a cup of tea, then remembered, was supposed to take it.
I now have an annual infusion, my stomach could no longer tolerate it. No more chronic heartburn etc. It's bliss!

Joelsnan Wed 24-Apr-19 16:35:28

I take one every morning. I have to take it with a large glass of water, stay upright (no slipping back into bed) and not eat or drink anything else for at least half an hour after taking. Apparently they can cause stomach upsets, but the ones that are given IV are the ones that cause most problems.
I hope it is just a transient tummy upset.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 24-Apr-19 16:59:32

I took them for 10 years (osteopenia) my stomach could not tolerate them any longer.

Unfortunately I had two broken bones last year, so will have to reconsider.

I monitor my diet and do weight baring exercise 3 times a week. I have been left with stomach problems which can be considerably unpleasant.

Jane43 Fri 03-May-19 11:08:09

The doctor gave me a prescription for these after my bone scan showed I was osteopenic. I did collect the tablets but since going on line and reading some of the problems experienced by many people on these I chickened out and opted for a calcium supplement and more calcium rich foods. I am trying to do some weight bearing exercise but this is difficult as I have a prolapse. The GP prescribed them because I am on Anastrozole which can affect the bones but I feel fine, no aches and pains in my legs so I am just not convinced that I need this drug. I may be proved wrong when I have the next bone scan but I am willing to take the risk.

annodomini Fri 03-May-19 11:25:41

When I had to take steroids, it was advisable to take precautions against bone-thinning. I couldn't take the tablets because of a reflux problem, so was prescribed annual infusions of Zoledronic Acid which had, in my case at least, no side-effects. They are no longer necessary as I've been off steroids for two years but I still take the calcium and vitD supplement (Adcal).

Willynilly Fri 03-May-19 11:32:32

I too have stopped the Alendronic Acid but continue with Adcal, diet and exercise after having severe nausea and stomach pains, not to mention leg pains and headaches.

SueDonim Fri 03-May-19 12:05:27

I've been on alendronate/risendronate for five years but not had any issues. I've recently had a stomach upset but I think it was just a random event, nothing to do with medication.

matson Fri 03-May-19 16:00:40

Hi ladies, I have been advised to have the yearly infusion for osteoporious to start in about three weeks, I am really worried about the side effects and wondered if anyone has tried this treatment ?

Willynilly Fri 03-May-19 17:00:33

I would love to know about this too matson as I'm going to see my GP (when an appointment finally becomes available) to see what my options are. I'm classified as having middle grade osteoporosis so I do need something, plus I've had 3 fractures in 18 months sad

annodomini Fri 03-May-19 17:50:02

matson, I think you mean zoledronic acid which I mentioned in my post at 11.25 this morning. As I said, I had no side effects at all, but the bumf I received did say that I might have mild flu-like symptoms for a couple of days. I thought that would be a small price to pay compared with the unpleasant side effects of the alendronic acid tablets which would have been the alternative.

matson Fri 03-May-19 18:39:30

Thank you, I can't remember the name mentioned, just a little concerned about side effects as in tablet form I had to stop them because of stomach problems.

Anja Fri 03-May-19 18:43:54

I stopped taking medication for osteoporosis years ago. I’ve since had 2 DEXA scans and my bone density has improved in the 7 years since. Alendronic acid made me ill. Strontium ranelate was stopped by GP.

trisher Fri 03-May-19 19:32:41

I was on Aledronate for a few years. It didn't suit me and I was changed to another drug. On that for approx 7years very successfully. Now have osteoporenia, not osteoporosis. Now on a drug holiday, because staying on the medication too long causes problems.
My mum had advanced osteoporosis and suffered many fractures including some spine collapse.

mcem Fri 03-May-19 20:26:48

Dexa scan on Tues showed that my osteopaenia has progressed to osteoporosis. Started weekly risendronate 9 years ago after a minor wrist fracture and continued for 5 years. Discontinued for several years and dexa scan became due (A year after I broke my hip). Now prescribed alendronic acid along with the calcium and vit D I've had throughout. Scan showed thinning at the hip and also some deterioration in the spine (currently asymptomatic).
Thoroughly pissed off!
Broken hip makes me think it's all been a waste of time!

matson Fri 03-May-19 21:07:42

Mmm, I'm not really sure if I want to chance the side effects and the chance the infusion are of no benefit, not hearing many positives

Willynilly Fri 03-May-19 21:56:55

Oh crikey I doesn't look good overall for whatever treatments we try. Humpty are you feeling any better now? Was it just a bug?
I'm quite depressed and scared at the outlook to be frank. I think I'm quite fit for 60. I eat well, exercise, don't smoke etc., but I have substantial bone loss in the hips and spine. Are there any positive reviews of treatments?

Anja Fri 03-May-19 22:04:35

Willynilly read up on vitamin K2.

BlueBelle Fri 03-May-19 22:14:07

Joolsnan I have the infusion and get no problems whatsoever
Matson WillynillyI have had the annual infusion for three years with No side effects at all
I will know after my next bone scan if it’s made any difference I personally don’t think it has and if it hasn’t I won’t continue but take my chances

You shouldn’t be on Aladronic acid for years I think it’s a three year thing

HannahLoisLuke Sat 04-May-19 10:26:56

Hello Matson and Willy Nilly.
I have osteoporosis and after being prescribed Alendronic Acid taken once a week, lots if water stand upright, no food or drink for thirty mins etc I still got silent reflux, with persistent cough and a voice so croaky I couldn't hold a conversation. Several visits to GP didn't identity the cause until, listening to Jeremy Vine one day, they had an item on acid reflux and Dr Sarah, going through the various causes said medication for osteoporosis could be a cause, also a croaky voice is a symptom. I had no heartburn at that stage.
Back to GP who sent me for an endoscopy and reflux diagnosed. Now on Omeprazole which has its own set of problems, one being osteoporosis!
After trying different drugs for the osteo I finally was given the intravenous infusion of denosumab (Prolia) at six monthly intervals. Vit D levels have to be high enough so make sure you take the supplements.
Fingers crossed I've had no side effects from the Prolia, or at least none that I'm aware of.
Good luck to both if you.

Gaggi3 Sat 04-May-19 10:36:29

I tried to take Alendronate but my odd digestive system couldn't cope and I now have Prolia by injection twice-yearly, like Hannah. Ii is fine.

Gaggi3 Sat 04-May-19 10:37:04

'It' is fine !

matson Sat 04-May-19 10:41:03

Thank you for that feedback everybody, I think I will try the first infusion and take it from there, will let you know how it goes, good luck Willy Nilly.

trisher Sat 04-May-19 11:27:31

I think you havet o realise that it is the combined effects of treatment that give results. So if you are taking a drug but you are not getting adequate Vit D and calcium it is a waste of time. If you can do some weight bearing excersise it helps- I do Tai Chi. My mum had unsuccesful treatment because she didn't take her VitD/calcium supplement. They started monitoring her vitD/calcium levels and started her on injections which was much more successful.