Osteoporosis Drugs May Do Harm

Imagine walking through the park with your grandchildren when SNAP, one of the bones in your leg suddenly breaks!
It turns out the drugs that are supposed to make your bones stronger – like Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva and Reclast – could cause your femur to spontaneously snap. They’re also associated with deterioration of the jaw bone, hip, knees and shoulders.
This group of drugs, called bisphosphonates, has been in the news recently. But concerns about their safety date back to 2008. Yet the FDA still hasn’t taken appropriate measures to warn users of their debilitating side effects.
Short of pulling a product off the market, the FDA often will require manufacturers to put a “black box” on a product.
For example, in the late 1990’s there was a diabetes drug called Rezulin. After several cases of reported liver failure in patients, the FDA responded by ordering the manufacturer to put a strong “liver warning” on the label.
It wasn’t until over 2 years later that the FDA finally pulled Rezulin off the market. That was much too late to stop the 14,000 suspected deaths associated with the drug. Or to prevent many other users of the drug from suffering permanent liver damage.
Other examples of FDA failures include:
Fen-Phen. In 1997 we saw a massive recall of fen-phen after it caused fatal heart valve problems in users.
Vioxx. 2004 brought a recall of the arthritis treatment Vioxx when officials linked an increase risk of heart attacks, strokes and sudden cardiac death to the product.
Chantix. Just last year officials added a black box warning to Chantix. But not nearly strong enough. The Associated Press reported that in 2008 there were 988 serious incidents linked to Chantix just in the last quarter of the year. Plus, there were more complaints for this drug than any other medication.
That’s the short list, but it gives us a very clear picture of the potential consequences of using prescription drugs.
When your health care practitioner offers you a prescription medication, keep this in mind: The key to long-lasting health isn’t found in a pill. So it’s up to you to take control of your health by identifying the core problem and seek natural solutions for it.
For example, some natural ways to shore up your bones include…
Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, soft drinks and smoking. All of these will decrease bone mass.
Getting plenty of vitamin D. Spend 10-15 minutes a day in the sun to get it naturally, and add foods high in vitamin D to your diet, like cod liver oil, salmon and dairy products.
Performing weight bearing exercises. This means using light weights or stretch-band resistance exercises.
Remember, you’re the one who is ultimately responsible for your health. If your health care practitioner won’t work with you to find the underlying cause of your problem and help you treat it naturally, find one who will.