Worst Pills
alendronate (BINOSTO, FOSAMAX)

Drug and Dietary Supplement Profiles

A comprehensive review of the safety and effectiveness of this drug. If the drug is not a Do Not Use product, information on adverse effects, drug interactions and how to use the medication are included.
Search results below include drug profiles where your selected drug is a primary subject of discussion

Disease and Drug Family Information

Search results below include Disease and Drug Family Information where your selected drug is a primary subject of discussion
  • Osteoporosis [hide all summaries]
    Osteoporosis is a reduction in bone mass and weakening of bone architecture that increases the susceptibility of bone to fracture. Bone is a living tissue that is constantly being broken down and resynthesized at 1 to 2 million microscopic sites in the adult skeleton. Osteoporosis occurs when the rate of breakdown is faster than the rate of resynthesis. The history of the treatment or prevention of osteoporosis is strewn with drugs such as estrogens—discussed below—and others in this chapter with marginal effectiveness or with risks clearly outweighing the benefits.

Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Articles

Search results below include Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Articles where your selected drug is a primary subject of discussion
  • Questions & Answers [hide all summaries]
    (May 2016)
    In this month’s Question & Answer feature, we respond to a reader’s request to explain why we recommend use of bisphosphonates for certain patients with osteoporosis despite our warnings about their risks.
  • A Guide to Treatments for Osteoporosis [hide all summaries]
    (May 2015)
    Drug treatment can prevent broken bones in some women with osteoporosis. But drugs are not always necessary and can cause harmful side effects, especially when treatment lasts longer than needed. Read this article to learn who should take osteoporosis drugs, which drugs to take and for how long.
  • Possible Increased Risk of Fractures With Long-Term, High-Dose Use of Heartburn Drugs [hide all summaries]
    (August 2010)
    The article reviews evidence that patients 50 years old or older who take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs -- a list of the six approved ones is in the article) or use them for a year or more may be at increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist and spine. Since much of the use of these drugs is inappropriate and unnecessarily dangerous, the article discusses pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic alternatives to PPIs.
  • Dexlansoprazole (KAPIDEX, DEXILANT): The Sixth Proton Pump Inhibitor for Heartburn [hide all summaries]
    (July 2010)
    This sixth drug for treating "heartburn" has no advantage for patients over older drugs such as PREVACID, generic name lansoprazole. Any advantage is for the industry because the manufacturer of DEXILANT charges three times more for this drug than the cost of generic lansoprazole, sold by another company and just as effective for patients.
  • Long-term Use of Bisphosphonates for Osteoporosis [hide all summaries]
    (January 2009)
    Emerging reports of a rare but unique type of fracture in patients receiving bisphosphonates for many years point toward the drug as a possible culprit. Unlike most drugs, bisphosphonates remain in your body for many years after you stop taking them. Further investigation into the risks, as well as benefits, of long-term bisphosphonate use is needed. But, because there is little evidence of benefit after five years and the long-term risks remain largely unknown, it is reasonable to discuss with your doctor discontinuing these drugs after five years. However, you should continue to take calcium and vitamin D supplements at currently suggested doses (discussed in the article) regardless of whether or not you are on bisphosphonates.
  • Osteoporosis Fracture Prevention: What You Need to Know about Drugs and other Measures - Part 2 [hide all summaries]
    (December 2008)
    The article discusses the difference between the benefits of drugs to prevent a first fracture (primary prevention) and to prevent further fractures in people who have already experienced a fracture (secondary prevention). In addition to discussing when it may or may not be appropriate to use drugs such as Fosamax (alendronate) or Actonel (risedronate) the article discusses ways of preventing falls and other non-pharmacologic approaches to preventing fractures.
  • Death of Parts of the Jaw Bone With Osteoporosis Drugs Such As Alendronate (FOSAMAX) [hide all summaries]
    (September 2006)
    The typical signs and symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw may include pain, swelling or infection of the gums, loosening of the teeth, poor healing of the gums, numbness or a feeling of heaviness in the jaw, drainage and exposed bone. Patients taking a bisphosphonate (including Fosamax) should carefully monitor themselves for any sign of jaw problems resembling those described in this article.
  • Zoledronic Acid (ZOMETA) And Pamidronate (AREDIA) Linked to Jaw Bone Damage: Popular Osteoporosis Drugs Also Evaluated [hide all summaries]
    (August 2005)
    The FDA Office of Drug Safety recommended that the professional product labeling for alendronate(Fosamax)and risedronate (Actonel) also be revised to warn of the possibility of osteonecrosis of the jaw (destruction of the jawbone). At this time, the FDA has not taken such action.

Additional Information from Public Citizen

Search results below include Additional Information from Public Citizen where your selected drug is a primary subject of discussion
  • Testimony Regarding Bisphosphonates (HRG Publication #1970) [hide all summaries]
    Long-term use of bisphosphonates for the prevention of osteoporotic fractures must be limited to 5 years, and the indication for bisphosphonate treatment for osteopenic women must be removed, unless the patient has a significant 10-year fracture risk as determined by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) FRAX algorithm.

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