No Long-Term Research on Osteoporosis Drugs - Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

No Long-Term Research on Osteoporosis Drugs

May 19, 2019

Research Needed on Long-Term Osteoporosis Drug Therapies” is the conclusion of an NIH Osteoporosis Workshop. OK, let me get this straight; did someone forget to do proper long-term studies on these osteoporosis drugs! The ones that are so strong that you are not allowed to lie down after taking them so they won’t burn your esophagus.

In 1995, the FDA approved Fosamax, a drug that increased bone mineral density by killing osteoclast cells that breakdown and remodel bone. The theory is that if you prevent bone from breaking down it will just keep building up and reverse osteoporosis. However, they didn’t factor in the bone remodeling and reshaping function of the osteoclasts that is necessary to allow the bone to have the proper stable, structural conformation. These drugged bones are so brittle that dentists won’t do dental implants because your jawbones are so brittle. 

These drugs have been used for 25 years and it’s only NOW they want to do long-term studies! That’s the height of arrogance in the drug and medical industry. But apparently there is not enough evidence regarding rare and serious complications, including atypical femoral fractures and osteonecrosis. Which means they are acknowledging these serious complications and admit that “There is little information regarding the safety and effectiveness of anabolic agents beyond two years.”

The Workshop was organized “to identify research opportunities to fill gaps in our understanding of long-term (>3 years) treatment of osteoporosis.” The recommendations cover areas that should have been covered in the initial drug research – but obviously were not. Without the proper clinical trials about the effects and side effects of these drugs, doctors think they are relatively safe and pass that message on to their patients.

Here is a case history, with just that scenario, that came in as I was writing this blog: 

I have scoliosis and was told that I had the beginning stages of Osteopenia. My doctor’s only recommendation was to take Fosamax. She told me that there were some side effects but only AFTER being on the med for 5 years. She said one side effect was JAW problems. She said we would look at the bone density after 5 years and then stop taking the meds. I complied. I did not want to take it at all, but there is a family history of osteoporosis on both sides. Also family members in medicine convinced me to take the drug. Then, on your Radio broadcast on April 15, 2019 you talked about Fosamax so I started researching and was outraged at the side effects. I’m afraid I was too trusting of what my doctor said. I only have myself to blame for not researching the drug sooner!

A paper that reviewed 35 studies on osteoporosis drugs found that “in women who have been treated with bisphosphonates for several years, the balance of benefits to harms of continued bisphosphonate treatment versus discontinuation is less clear.” Another comment was that “the risk of rare atypical femoral fractures becomes somewhat less rare.” “Somewhat less rare” is hardly a scientific statement and shows how reluctant doctors are to assign blame to drugs that they prescribe. 

Then comes the inevitable “rub”. Oops! There is no money to do these studies. The drug companies aren’t interested, they have FDA approval for their drugs and are busy raking in the big bucks. Which leaves you and me, the taxpayer, to fund this research.

Incredibly, the NIH Workshop attendees patted themselves on the back saying there had been enormous progress in the ” development of drugs available to treat osteoporosis over the past 30 years.” Not progress in the prevention and cure of osteoporosis but in the development of lots of drugs! And there won’t be any progress until they begin to use magnesium in the form of ReMag to support bone growth.

What are the drugs they are talking about? They promoted estrogen therapy in the late 1980s but that ended in disaster with the horrific side effect of breast cancer. Now they are using drugs that either inhibit bone resorption (like Fosamax) or stimulate bone formation and they don’t know the long term effects. 

Thankfully, as more people find out about the hip-breaking and jaw-breaking side effects of these drugs, there will be less acceptance of them. The Workshop panelists commented “The problem now…is implementation strategies – how do we get physicians to appropriately prescribe and patients who really need these drugs to appropriately take them.” Doctors tell patients to weigh the pros and cons of taking these drugs; they tell patients that there is a greater risk of having an osteoporosis fracture than a brittle fracture due to the drugs. But they   never for a moment entertain any alternatives.

Magnesium’s Role In Bone Health (Magnesium Miracle 2017)

• Adequate levels of magnesium are essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium.

• Magnesium stimulates a particular hormone, calcitonin, that helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, preventing some forms of arthritis and kidney stones.

• Magnesium suppresses another bone hormone called parathyroid, preventing it from breaking down bone.

• Magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form so that it can help calcium absorption.

• Magnesium is required to activate an enzyme that is necessary to form new bone.

• Magnesium regulates active calcium transport.

Note: Vitamin K2 plays an important role is helping direct calcium to the bones where it belongs.

I’m not saying to stop your drugs. Take our Completement Formulas for the perfect building blocks and as your body comes into a healthy balance, you may no longer require your drugs. I would also recommend a sugar-free diet since sugar drains minerals from the body and is a major cause of bone loss.

Learn about magnesium, and much more, by subscribing to my health tips by email. You can subscribe here:

Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to:

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