Osteoporosis drugs can cause aches and pains
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
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Bisphosphonates are drugs used for osteoporosis treatment.
Examples are Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Atelvia, and Reclast.
Unfortunately they cause two types of pain syndromes. The first is the acute phase response which consists of fevers, chills, bone pain, muscle and joint pains that starts after initial administration of bisphosphonates.
These symptoms tend to resolve within several days after discontinuation of the drug. Unfortuantely, if a patient receives a long-acting bisphosphonate like Reclast or intravenous Boniva, the symptoms can lost a long time.
The second syndrome is experienced either within days of taking the bisphosphonate or it can occur after months, and even years of being on the drug. The pain is excruciating and incapacitating in many cases. There are reports of patients getting better after stopping taking the bisphosphonate but there are others who do not.
The other issue is mid-shaft femoral fractures reported in patients on long term bisphosphonate therapy.
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