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FAQs About Osteoporosis Medications

Dr. Mike Answers Your Questions About Osteoporosis Medications

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Updated November 26, 2008

I get many questions from women who are asking about medications used to treat osteoporosis. These include concerns about side effects and the safe use of these drugs, and how and when to take calcium and vitamin D supplements.

As new questions come in, this list will be updated and kept current.

Fosamax Side Effects

These two questions raise concerns about the safe use of Fosamax.

I’ve been taking Fosamax for 7 years and heard that it is not safe because it doesn't build quality bone and there is a risk of jaw demineralization. What are your thoughts about this?

My doctor prescribed Fosamax for me about 5 years ago to help prevent osteoporosis. My bone density shows osteopenia. I read that the medication can be more harmful for me to take than not. Why? Can you explain this to me?

Proper Use of Calcium Supplements

I’m a 56-year-old woman, and I take calcium supplements. I have heard various opinions about how and when to take them. Should I take 1200 mg at once, or 600 in the morning and 600 at night? Is there anything I should not take calcium with? Thanks for the info.

Use of Calcium Supplements with Evista

I take Evista (60 mg) once a day and an over-the-counter calcium supplement twice a day (600 mg each dose). Is it necessary to take the supplements, or is using them a case of overkill? (I’m 67 years old.)

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