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Osteoporosis

Premenopausal osteoporosis

08/10/2006

Question:

I was diagnosed 2-1/2 years ago with osteoporosis. I am 47 years old. My mother had the disease. She broke her hip at age 77. My sister was diagnosed with osteopenia at age 53. My Gyn. put me on Fosomax immediately. I also have seen a bone specialist. My other tests were fine.I had another bone density in October which revealed a slight decline in my hips.My bone doctor wasn`t too concerned because he said my hips overall were better. There were just some weak spots. I think my T score was lower than -2.5 in those areas. My question: I am premenopausal and from everything I have read fosomax is mainly prescribed for post menopausal women. I am concerned with the side affects. I have noticed some stomach irritation but nothing severe.I have lately increase my exercise regimen. I haven`t been real faithful before now. I work out at Curves for resistant training and I walk a mile on my treadmill at least 3-4 times a week.I would like to go off fosomax because it didn`t appear to make that much difference in two years.I have also read some information on severe side affects.Will exercise and a healthy diet be just as beneficial? I work in a large museum and walk alot especially up and down stairs. I am just not sure about taking fosomax since I haven`t gone through menopause.

Answer:

If you had osteoporosis at age 47, the important question would be whether you have an underlying cause that could be addressed.  I would expect that your bone doctor has already done an extensive evaluation for you, and I would recommend discussing the results of those findings as well as your concerns about taking Fosamax with your bone doctor.  You could also discuss the concept of a "drug holiday", whereby you would discontinue the drug for one or two years and then recheck your bone density.

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Response by:

Margery   Gass, MD Margery Gass, MD
Formely, Professor, Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati