Fosomax Side Effects
Fosomax for Osteoporosis
What is Fosomax?
Fosomax and Fosomax Side Effects - Is Fosomax Effective for Osteoporosis?
Fososmax, the brand name for the compound known as alendronate, is an osteoporosis medicine that is approved by the FDA. Fosomax is designed to combat the progression of osteoporosis, a progressive bone disease which results in the eventual loss of bone mass and bone mineral density - both of which eventually result in a higher risk of fractures.
Osteoporosis related fractures occur especially in the wrists, hips and spine, but thankfully fosomax and other similar osteoporosis medicine has been found to be effective in treating the symptoms of osteoporosis as well as actually slowing the progression of the disease! In clinical studies of post-menopausal women (the demographic most likely to suffer from or develop osteoporosis) fosomax was actually 50% more effective than placebo in helping patients to retain bone mass and retain bone mineral density, an important index of overall bone health.
How Does Fosomax and Osteoporosis Medicine Work?
Fosomax and other forms of osteoporosis medicine work by binding to the smooth surfaces of bones after ingestion. Although fosomax, as a drug, is known for low bioavailability ( meaning that not very much of the swallowed dose actually reaches the bones before being processed or excreted by the body) it is nevertheless quite effective in binding to smooth bone mass and inhibiting the activity of bone cells known as osteoclasts (literally: bone destroyers). Osteoclasts are specialized bone cells which break down bone and help the bloodstream to reabsorb its minerals. Unfortunately for patients suffering from osteoporosis, osteoclasts can tend to work overtime, or simply continue their work even though overall bone mass has dangerously diminished due to age. Fosomax works by inhibiting the activity of these osteoclasts in order to help the patient retain more bone mass and therefore bone hardness.
Thanks to this conservative activity, fosomax is effective in reducing the risk and frequency of common fractures in osteoporosis sufferers that take it. Fosomax can be taken either daily, in lower doses of around 10 to 15m, or once weekly in a dose of around 70mg. Another interesting aspect of fosomax is its ability to perpetually build up in the body and therefore compound its bone conserving functionality over time. While this is great news for patients trying to retain bone mass and retain bone density, it is still unknown exactly how else this cumulative build up of fosomax in the body can effect overall health and patient care.
While fosomax has been effective in bringing relief and safety to many sufferers of osteoporosis, it should be well known and understood by all osteoporosis patients and their families that fosomax and any other osteoporosis medicine are not without their potential downfalls. The fact of the matter is that fosomax side effects can be more than uncomfortable and potentially deadly. The worst of fosomax side effects are downright ghastly and include possible osteonecrosis of the jaw (literally: bone death) which can lead to a structural collapse of the jaw. This is, of course, one of the rarest of possible fosomax side effects, and is mostly a concern for patients already dealing with bone cancer who have been receiving intensive chemotherapy in conjunction with fosomax treatment.
Additional Fosomax Side Effects
Other fosomax side effects are more systemic and generalized. More common fosomax side effects include generalized skin complaints and disruptions such as rashes or psoriasis-like complications that can lead to scaly, red or chafing skin. Fosomax side effects of this nature are generally not serious but can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing. Of course, patients and their families will always need to weigh the potential benefits of their osteoporosis medicine against any of the fosomax side effects they may be experiencing.
Fosomax side effects can also wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal system, and fosomax side effects of this kind can range from simple complaints like dyspepsia or upset stomach all the way to ulceration and calcification of the stomach (with the potential for serious damage).
Unfortunately, the other major kind of fosomax side effects that patients and their families need to be made aware of are those fosomax side effects with neurological implications. Visual disturbances, headaches, dizziness and disorientation are all potential neurological fosomax side effects that should be watched carefully for and immediately reported to a health care professional or emergency medical service.
Fosomax has so far been shown to be effective as an osteoporosis medicine and is generally well tolerated by the greater population taking fosomax, but every patient needs to keep themselves informed about potential fosomax side effects and be ready to report them to their doctor immediately in the case of a flare up. As always, you must always report all other medications you are taking to your doctor so that he or she can make the best medical recommendation based off that information. This is especially important because even seemingly innocuous and widely available over-the-counter medications can have interactions with fosomax and increase the risk of serious fosomax side effects. Ranitidine, a compound very commonly found in over the counter antacid treatments interacts with fosomax to increase its effective bioavailability, effectively increasing the dose of fosomax!