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Alendronic Acid

(33 Posts)
Calendargirl Thu 05-Sep-19 15:40:52

Apologies if this has been raised before.
I’ve been taking this for the last 6 years with no ill effects, I have osteoporosis. A friend phoned me today, newly diagnosed with OP, and wanted my opinion as to whether she should take AA as she had been advised by nurse to do research and then make an informed decision.
I was just prescribed it and followed all the guidelines as to how and when etc.
Just wondered what other GN’ers opinion is on it.
I told my friend I had had no issues and to see how she got on with it.

Daddima Thu 05-Sep-19 16:06:48

I’ve been taking it for about three years as a precaution while on prednisolone, with no ill effects. Presumably your friend was prescribed the Alendronate by a doctor, so it seems odd a nurse is telling her to do her research and ‘make an informed decision.’

Sparklefizz Thu 05-Sep-19 16:13:44

Because the side effects can be really horrible, and everyone should take responsibility for their own health, whatever drug they are prescribed, so that they are aware. Doctors can make mistakes. They have no time to check every single thing on one's record, and they are not gods whose word is sacrosanct.

shysal Thu 05-Sep-19 16:17:23

I also took it while on Prednisolone and had no problems. I made sure to take it as directed, with a whole glass of water, first thing in the morning at least 30-60 minutes before food or other medication. I also stayed upright during that time. My way of doing this was to go for a walk.
I have seen other threads on here on the subject. If you do a search at the top of the page (on my laptop, don't know about mobile site) they will come up. Good luck!

BlueSapphire Thu 05-Sep-19 16:45:18

I have been taking it for 8 years, since I broke my shoulder, with no problems or side effects at all.

Marydoll Thu 05-Sep-19 17:32:09

I have been on and off it for twenty years. I have a " holiday", every so often.
Now have an infusion, as I could no longer tolerate the tablets.
It does cause horrific heartburn and may cause a condition called necrosis of the jaw.
Recently I've had lots of dental problems and everyone was panicking.
However, it isn't the Alendronic acid causing it.
I have had no broken bones in five years after lots of fractures. ( touch wood), so it must be working.

blondenana Thu 05-Sep-19 17:56:12

My son takes that and he says it knocks him out,he is really tired after it, and can hardly function
However his consultant says he can have injections now instead

BlueBelle Thu 05-Sep-19 18:59:05

The advice is that you should not take it long term
my friends doctor has prescribed it for 13 years when she saw a different doctor he was horrified and told her to stop immediately
I have an annual infusion (I had it yesterday) it takes 15 minutes I get no ill effects I now have at least a year or two off before they decide whether I need to continue

BlueBelle Thu 05-Sep-19 19:01:15

Although I have osteoporosis and have had a variety of slips and falls I ve never broken anything since I was about 40 so not at all sure if I will bother to continue

luluaugust Thu 05-Sep-19 19:05:45

I am just coming up to the 5 year point and have been told to ask for a DEXA scan in December, which I will. Few problems sometimes plays up my throat now but not at the start. I do take exactly as recommended.

Doodle Thu 05-Sep-19 19:11:45

I have taken alendronic acid tablets for many years along with calcium tablets. I had no noticeable side effects from either. I was slightly stumped when my new GP asked me why I was taking them. I replied because I have osteoporosis. GP said I can see nothing in your notes to say you have osteoporosis so she sent me for a scan. No osteoporosis- tablets stopped 🤔

Willynilly Thu 05-Sep-19 20:53:27

AA is very cheap for the NHS, no problem unless you get side effects. If you do, then get Risondronate prescribed. Same as AA but less side effects. GP's don't like to prescribe this as it costs more. £5 a month as opposed to £2 (for the NHS that is).
Anyway dexa scan every 2 yrs should be the norm.

trisher Thu 05-Sep-19 21:00:02

I was on it for some time. Current advice is you should not be on it for a very long time. There is some evidence of unusual fractures after long term use. Your bone density should be regularly assessed anyway. I've been on a drug 'holiday' for almost 6 years now. My osteoporosis was down graded to osteopenia about 2 years ago and my density is now OK. I take calcium &vit D tablets and do tai chi.

Anja Thu 05-Sep-19 21:56:08

The problem with ‘unusual fractures’ is that AA retains bone...old bone, rather than encouraging new bone. Best to read research before committing.

Sparklefizz Fri 06-Sep-19 07:37:58

Doodle That is awful ! This is why we must all take responsibility for our own health. It's easy to do research nowadays when we have the Net (obviously whilst being discerning about which websites we check) and then if we decide to take a certain drug, at least we are aware of the pros and cons. I was prescribed Arimidex after a mastectomy years ago and found out later that it should only be prescribed to post-menopausal women. The consultant had assumed I was not having periods but had not bothered to check .... but I was still having them and the Arimidex made me really quite ill.

I was also prescribed too high a dose of Thyroxine which made my thyroid seriously over active and gave me Atrial Fibrillation.

Nowadays I check everything and my present GP says he salutes me for this, and we work together as a team to find out what would be best for me. (I am juggling 8 different illnesses)
^ Doodle I have taken alendronic acid tablets for many years along with calcium tablets. I had no noticeable side effects from either. I was slightly stumped when my new GP asked me why I was taking them. I replied because I have osteoporosis. GP said I can see nothing in your notes to say you have osteoporosis so she sent me for a scan. No osteoporosis- tablets stopped 🤔^

Sparklefizz Fri 06-Sep-19 07:38:51

The quote from Doodle's post is supposed to be in italics at the end of my post above.

GinJeannie Fri 06-Sep-19 10:52:13

I am currently on a drug holiday from Alendronic Acid, having taken them for 11 years! Latest Dexa scam shows a slight improvement in bone density tho I’ve lost 2” in height! It has been suggested by the Bone Density Unit at hospital that I should consider the 6 monthly injections, but I’ve heard and read of awful side effects. Any GN girls been here? I’d really rather not do this, no broken bones lately! TIA

Franbern Sun 08-Sep-19 11:20:23

Following a stress fracture to my spine earlier this year, I was prescribed AA. Took it for a few weeks, but as i had not been sent for a Dexa scan, decided to stop taking them. I know my GP's surgery went into panic overdrive with this.
Following my fall, I thought it was soft tissue injury, in a great deal of pain and unable to move, phoned the surgery to tell them and to ask (and got) strong painkillers. Did not see any Doctor. Was two months later that, on advice from an ex-work colleague (health professional), I asked for and was given an MRI scan, which showed up this fracture.
As my bladder tumour has rather taken over my medical concerns at present, I will wait for that to be sorted out before demanding a Dexa scan. I do not think I do have osteoporosis.
Whilst understanding that a spinal stress fracture is often caused by this condition, does not mean that it is the only cause.
I am happy to take Ad-Cal each day, but do not feel I am willing to take on the side effects of AA without an actual bone density scan telling me I need it.

trisher Sun 08-Sep-19 12:03:28

It does seem to differ from area to area of the NHS how you are treated. In my authority it is usual to offer women who are around menopausal age a scan if they suffer a fracture and to offer the same to anyone who has had more than one fracture.

Happiyogi Sun 08-Sep-19 13:39:54

Interesting discussion.

I'm being pushed into accepting bisphosphonates for osteoporosis and the more recent discovery of several fractured vertebrae.

I feel reluctant - not helped by their list of potential side effects, including symptoms similar to my long-standing GERD. I can't tolerate the PPIs prescribed for that, so am not keen to take something that might make those symptoms worse! On the other hand, I'm not keen on standing by while my skeleton disintegrates either! Rock, hard place...

SueDonim Sun 08-Sep-19 13:41:19

Franbern, I don't think I would take it without a definite indication it was needed, either.

Trisher, in my area, everyone who has a low-impact fracture after the age of 50 is offered a dexa scan. You'd think really that there'd be a country-wide policy.

trisher Sun 08-Sep-19 14:41:18

You would imagine so wouldn't you SueDonim I wonder if it is to do with budgets or something?
I wouldn't have though anyone should be prescribed drugs for osteoporosis without a scan.
My mother had the 6 month injections for the last few years of her life -until she was 93. She seemed fine on them. She had to have them because she had decided she didn't like her oral medicine and simply stopped taking it! It took us a while to find out and her bones were still crumbling (she had 3 or 4 spine fractures).

Marydoll Mon 09-Sep-19 22:51:40

After I fractured two vertebrae, (were undiagnosed for six months) , despite being on Alendronate, I started having yearly Dexa scans, instead of every two years.
I'm back to having one bi annually and coincidently my appointment for my annual infusion came in this morning.
However, my vitamin D levels are again non-existent , so I will be on a very high dose for the next six weeks until my infusion, as the infusion leaches Vitamin D from the bones.

Calendargirl Tue 10-Sep-19 14:12:24

Thanks for all the replies, interesting reading.

jeanie99 Wed 11-Sep-19 02:34:39

I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis in April after having a Dexa scan, GP put immediately on AA. Told me that I would be managed by the surgery and there was no need to see a consultant.
I suffered from terrible finger, toe and leg cramps almost from the start of taking the medication.
I asked for a referral to a specialist outside of my local area but the GP was not happy about this at all, complained it would cost the surgery money.
I insisted as this was my right and eventually saw a consultant. I had a Dexa scan and x-ray taken, having never had a broken bone and my results showed I was just OP the consultant believed the the GP was premature in putting me on AA and that I should come off it.
I am still taking Adcal-D and my next Dexa scan will be in 2 years time.
I had so much pain and am so relieved I have been taken off this medication. It was well worth insisting on seeing a specialist.