Osteoporosis is, essentially, a degeneration process in bones, predominantly affecting women who have passed the menopausal period. According to the existing estimations, about one-third of women aged 50 and higher have troubles with normal ossification. This issue affects approximately 25 million Americans yearly and is one of today’s most under-identified and under-managed health concerns.
Fosamax for osteoporosis in women
Fosamax for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women has become widely recognized in current medical practice. The drug strongly influences the mineral balance of the body. Even among those patients who took calcium plus vitamin D instead of the anti-osteoporosis therapy, this alone declared itself by slight improvements in bone mineral density (BMD). One of the more recent investigations has presented data on a weekly ingestion of 70 mg Fosamax and the resulting improvement in BMD.
This trial continued for a single year and tested 1258 female bone loss sufferers aged from 40 to 90. Overall, enhancements in BMD observed in the hip, spine, and entire body of the 10 mg/week participant group coincided with those in the 70 mg/week participant group. For the hip only, the average BMD enhancement reached 3.1% for the daily users in comparison to 2.9% for the weekly users. The reason for testing the more spaced dosage regimen was the fact that this medication does not provide its beneficial effect when taken along with a meal or if users lie down within half an hour of administering the medicine.
Fosamax for osteoporosis in men
Osteoporosis medications are more often applied among women as they have comparatively less bone bulk than men do. While aging, men, therefore, have a bigger depot of skeletal tissue to resist the bone loss progression. Also, males do not experience the same intensive menopausal ossification problems.
In a placebo-controlled study, male users of alendronate had an average enhancement of BMD of 7.1 ± 0.3% in the spine, 2.5 ± 0.4% in the neck, and 2.0 ± 0.2% in the entire body. At the same time, the placebo cohort demonstrated an enhancement in the spine BMD of 1.8 ± 0.5% and no substantial alterations in the two other parameters. Also, the alendronate cohort demonstrated a lower occurrence of spinal breakages than that in the placebo cohort (0.8% vs. 7.1%). The height of the placebo users decreased by 2.4 mm in comparison with the drug users’ height that decreased by 0.6 mm.
Associated side effects
Even though it may appear as paradoxical for a drug of this kind, alendronate may lead to a bigger hazard of various bone weaknesses.
Specifically, the users report a larger predisposition to thighbone breakages. This issue tends to happen at random, while the patient is walking or bearing on one leg. Patients who stay with the drug for over five years face a larger margin of risk. Since the time this adverse effect has been revealed, the FDA has modified the labeling requirements to better inform patients of the possible hazard.
The investigation evidence of this medicine causing thighbone fractures is partly based on the FDA’s own research. In particular, FDA has established that of 310 sufferers of thighbone fractures 94% stayed on Fosamax for a period of five years or larger. The background explanation is that the active agent interferes with the metabolic processes of skeletal reparation and regeneration.