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How long should I take Fosamax?

06/15/2009 - Questions and Answers

How long should I take Fosamax?

By: Novoviva webmaster

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Question

I've been taking Fosamax for about 5 years - my bone density was found to be low. I'm 60. Do I have to take it for the rest of my life?

 

Answer

The prevention of osteoporosis has been helped enormously by the availability of alendronate (Fosamax®). This drug effectively prevents the natural resorption of bone that occurs after the menopause in women, as well as in some older men. But there haven't been many reports of long-term use of the drug, until just recently.
 

A large study has examined the effects of treatment with alendronate over a 10-year period (see reference, below). The dose used was 10 mg daily for 10 years. Some of the women in the study discontinued the drug after 5 years.
 

There were good increases in bone mineral density in the women who took 10 mg alendronate daily for 10 years. Smaller gains were seen in women who only took 5 mg daily. Stopping alendronate resulted in a gradual loss of the effect, i.e. bone mineral densities started to decrease. There were no signs that alendronate was poorly tolerated all this time, and the good effects were sustained. So, don't stop taking alendronate - at least not until you've taken it for 10 years . . . . by which time a new report should be available on its super-long-term effectiveness and safety.

 

Related Links
Forteo plus Fosamax? No!

Created on: 05/15/2004
Reviewed on: 06/15/2009

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