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Osteoporosis

How Does Fosamax Help Heal Osteoporosis?

06/18/2007

Question:

I would like more info about what Fosomax does to the bone. Does it help build bone or just make it stonger...as cement would? By taking it am I replacing living cells with non-living ones that cannot heal a break or that will deter the healing of a broken bone? How long does it stay in my system? I`ve heard it`s half-life is 30 years! I would rather take something that will build living bone, so at this point I`m back to taking calcium, madnesium and vitamin D.

Answer:

Bone is constantly remodeling:  re-absorbing (resorption) and building, resorption and building.  As we age, the resorption process tends to dominate causing us to lose more bone than we make.  Fosamax (like all bisphosphonates) slows down the resorption process so that the bone will stabilize and for some people actually increase in mass.  The half-life of the drug has been reported to be at least 10 years.  That has the benefit of providing bone protection for a longer time after the medication is discontinued.  Significant problems with the half-life have not been documented.

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Response by:

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