Osteoporosis treatment and its pitfalls

Watching TV these days, one can't escape the extensive advertising of medication (such as "Boniva" or "Fosamax") that is intended to prevent or mitigate the effects of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which the bones lose density, become fragile, and are prone to fractures. One can find an excellent professional review of osteoporosis issues at a University of Washington web site, provided by Professor Susan Ott, MD.

Recently, it has come to our attention that there are objections to the widespread use of medications to deal with osteoprosis. In a web site titled ("Save Our Bones"), Vivian Goldschmidt, MA, there is a statement that "doctors are somewhat held captive by the current mainstream belief that Osteoporosis is a disease that requires treatment". The downloadable review quotes other sources (e.g., reference 1) as saying that bisphosphonates (the active ingredient in most osteoporosis medications) remain in the bone forever, harden them, don't increase their density, and are responsible for increased fractures (rather than the expected decrease). However, Professor Ott's own web site states that "Bisphosphonates do (italics - mine) reduce fractures and improve measurements of bone strength for the first five years ... in women who have osteoporosis". However, she quotes reasons to stop this treatment after 5 years.

The role of this site is to attempt to provide the facts. Let's see what research has actually been done that corroborates these statements!

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Last Modification - March 13, 2009