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Osteoporosis

Is it Safe to Stop Taking Fosamax?

05/12/2008

Question:

My mother, age 92, was diagnosed with osteoporosis about 6 years ago. This year her doctor took her off Fosomax saying that after that length of time it was of no value. He stated that dexascan results would not be reliable because of arthritis of the spine. We are not aware that she has been diagnosed as having arthritis of the spine. Should she contiue having dexascans and should she be taking Fosomax? We are concerned that she may fall and break a hip.

Answer:

Some experts believe that after 5 years of Fosamax people could take a 1-2 year "drug holiday".  The bone density can be checked and if it starts to go down, one can resume the medication.  People should still be conscientious about taking their calcium and vitamin D.

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Response by:

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