Fosamax - A Drug with Deadly Results
Charlie Skeen, C.N.C
The drug Fosamax
produced by Merck has been available to the public for just a
little over ten years and has become well known, as the almost
$3 billion dollars in sales in 2005 demonstrate, due to its advertising
for osteoporosis, or bone-loss. Since so many people in the United
States, especially women, suffer from osteoporosis, they have
been informed that Fosamax will help fight it. But has that really
been the case? Does Fosamax really help to prevent osteoporosis
and build healthy bones? The answers will shock you.
What Is Fosamax?
FOSAMAX (alendronate sodium) is a bisphosphonate that acts as
a specific inhibitor of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Bisphosphonates
are synthetic analogs of pyrophosphate that bind to the hydroxyapatite
found in bone. In other words, the drug Fosamax is supposed to
prevent the body from activating the osteoclasts, specifc cells
that break down old bone tissue, allowing you to keep bone tissue
your body has thus far created, while the osteoblasts, specific
cells that build new bone tissue, continue working.
of Bone Remodeling
Ideally in a healthy individual who is obtaining the required
nutrition, the body is constantly tearing down old bone tissue
with the osteoclasts to make room for the new bone tissue built
by the osteoblasts. Now ask yourself, Why would I want to take
a drug that would interfere with this normal healthy process,
and what kind of negative side effects could occur?
Researches have found that while Fosamax does help to build denser
bone it has not prevented fractures. This is because instead of
improving bone health it actually makes them more brittle, which
of course makes them more prone to fractures, the exact opposite
of what you want. Also, it was found that even if people stopped
taking Fosamax it can remain in the body for up to ten years.
Please note what one
researcher Susan Ott, MD, of the University of Washington wrote
in a 2004 letter published in the Annals of Internal Medicine,
"Many people believe that these drugs are 'bone builders,'
but the evidence shows they are actually bone hardeners."
Natural healthy bone while very sturdy and has more strength than
steel the same size, is also very flexible. If bone becomes too
hard then it can more easily fracture and break.
- Bone Death
A deadly side effect called osteonecrosis, meaning death of bone,
or in this case death of the jawbone, has been discovered in people
who have been using Fosamax. In a December 13, 2004 press release
doctors at Long Island Jewish Medical Center announced that they
had discovered a link between Fosamax and a serious bone disease
called osteonecrosis of the jaw. According to the Long Island
Jewish Medical Center, “Osteonecrosis of the Jawbone is a condition
in which the bone tissue in the jaw fails to heal after minor
trauma such as a tooth extraction, causing the bone to be exposed.”
The doctors also stated that this exposure can eventually lead
to an infection and fracture which may require long-term antibiotic
therapy and, or, surgery to remove the dying bone tissue.
The chief of the Division
of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Long Island Jewish Medical
Center, Salvatore Ruggiero, DMD, MD, said they conducted the study
after they noticed a cluster of cancer patients with necrotic
lesions in the jaw, a condition they previously saw, in only one
or 2 patients a year.
In conducting a review
of the patients’ charts, the doctors found that the 63 patients,
diagnosed with Osteonecrosis of the Jawbone over a 3-year period,
shared one commonality, they all had received long-term bisphosphonate
Of the 63 patients diagnosed
between February 2001 and November 2003, fifty-six were cancer
patients who had received infusions of bisphosphonates for at
least a year, and seven other patients had been receiving long-term
oral therapy for osteoporosis.
“The patients developed
Osteonecrosis of the Jawbone after normal bone trauma,” the press
release said, “such as a tooth extraction, while receiving bisphosphonate
therapy.” Rather than healing, the bone began to die, and a majority
of the patients required surgery to remove the diseased bone.
Another study quoted
on April 4, 2006, by United Press International, found more than
2,400 patients who were taking the injected form of bisphosphonate
had suffered bone damage to their jaws since 2001. In addition
to the 2,400 patients who were taking the injected form, the study
found 120 patients taking the oral form
of the drug who had been stricken with such incapacitating
bone, joint, or muscle pain that some became
bedridden and others required walkers, crutches
While the number may
seem small when compared to the estimated 39 million oral prescriptions
written in 2005, health experts told The Los Angeles Times that
the problems may show a trend.
about 1,000 patients (with jaw necrosis) in the past six to nine
months alone, so the magnitude of the problem is just starting
to be recognized," Kenneth Hargreaves, of the University
of Texas, told the newspaper.
"We're not quite
sure what we're dealing with over the long haul,” Dr Susan Ott,
told the Times. “Side effects like this should make ordinary,
healthy women think twice," she warned.
the Natural Way
Once again the we find that drugs cannot replace proper care of
our bone tissue, and they create other health problems as well.
There is no magic bullet that will give you healthy bones. If
you are really serious about having healthy bones, and just being
plain healthy, then focus on what are body requires which is to
live a healthy lifestyle, get a daily dose of sunshine on the
face and arms for 20 minutes or more, take an adequate amount
of vitamin D, don’t smoke, use alcohol sparingly or not at all,
eat as much healthy food as possible while eliminating processed
and junk food, get the proper amount of resistance training weekly,
and take the right high quality supplements.