Bisphosphonates, a class of bone-building drugs used primarily to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, hit the U.S. market in 1995 following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Merck & Co.’s Fosamax (alendronate sodium). While Fosamax has gone on to earn Merck tens of billions of dollars, there’s reason to believe that in the near future, the drugmaker may be forced to distribute money to Fosamax users.
In fact, there are several reasons. Studies linking bisphosphonates to injuries such as femur fractures, jaw bone necrosis, esophageal cancer, and eye disease have prompted thousands of Fosamax lawsuits against Merck. And earlier this month, the FDA published findings that conclude long-term bisphosphonate use has little benefits, with one researcher commenting that “I think a lot of people are going to come off this drug.”
As one of the many patients likely to seek Fosamax alternatives moving forward, you may be unsure of which therapies can help improve bone density. For your benefit, non-bisphosphonate means of attaining skeletal health are outlined below.
Taking care to consume the right nutrients in the right amounts can be one of the best alternatives to bisphosphonates. For patients with brittle bones, calcium and vitamin D top the list of must-have nutrients.
- According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), women aged 51 and over should get 1,200 mg/day of calcium
- Vitamin D, vital for calcium absorption, should be consumed in the amount of 600 international units (IU) per day up until the age of 70; after age 70, the NAS recommends 800 IU per day.
Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining bone mass and density. If you are seeking natural bisphosphonate alternatives, be sure to engage in the following types of physical exertion:
- Weight bearing exercise: Popular forms include walking, jogging, hiking, and dancing
- Resistance exercise: Work against the weight of another object by using free weights, cable and pulley machines, and bodyweight training (push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, etc.)
- Flexibility exercises: Improve the health of your joints and prevent injury by stretching or practicing yoga or Tai Chi.
It should be pointed out that Fosamax is effective at improving bone health…but at what cost? While diet and exercise are key to maintaining bone health, drugs do have their place in an osteoporosis regimen. Patients seeking medicinal alternatives to Fosamax may want to try the following pharmaceuticals:
- Denosumab: The FDA approved denosumab, marketed as Prolia, as a treatment for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who are at high risk for fracture.
- Strontium: Available over the counter, strontium is clinically proven to support bone health. A 2004 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study found that the supplement significantly reduces nonvertebral fractures and increases bone mineral density.
- Raloxifene: Marketed as Evista, raloxifene is used to treat thinning bones in postmenopausal women and as an added benefit, can reduce the risk of certain types of breast cancer.
Exercise Your Legal Rights: Receive a Free Fosamax Lawsuit Review
Many patients taking Fosamax to improve their bone density have instead experienced the opposite effect as they suffer necrotic jawbone and broken femurs. If Fosamax caused you injury, you may be entitled to compensation from Merck. To find out, contact the Rottenstein Law Group, a firm with more than 25 years of collective experience in products liability. To begin your confidential case review, contact RLG online or by calling 1-877-332-2347.