Fosamax or the generic alternative called Alendronate belongs to a class of medications known as a bisphosphonate and is utilized in the treatment of specific kinds of bone loss such as osteoporosis. Fosamax may also be prescribed to treat Paget’s disease, a chronic bone disorder in which bone is broken down more quickly and replaced with softer more porous bone. Although the exact cause of Paget’s disease is unknown, it appears to run in families. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
The bones in our bodies are constantly being broken down and replaced with new bones. Alendronate increases the thickness of bone by slowing down the cells that usually break down bone, known as osteoclasts. This allows the cells that build bone, known as osteoblasts, to work more efficiently. This bone-building cycle takes about 100 days and is influenced by the hormones produced in our bodies as well as by the levels of calcium and vitamin D. Osteoporosis occurs when bone tissue and minerals are lost faster than the bone is replaced.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease where parts of the bone become weak and prone to fracture. This condition is more common in seniors, but can affect men and women of all ages. Osteoporosis is particularly common among women who have reached menopause. The increased risk at menopause reflects the fact that the hormone estrogen, a key factor in maintaining bone strength in women, is no longer produced by the ovaries after menopause.
Osteoporosis can affect young and middle-aged people also. This secondary form of osteoporosis may be a result of steroid use or chronic illnesses such as anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder that leads to malnutrition. Some other factors that may increase the risk of osteoporosis include: lack of calcium; family history and body type; lifestyle factors; medications; and amount of exercise.
Discuss other medical conditions, including esophageal, dental, or gastrointestinal problems, and allergies you have and provide a list of current OTC and Rx drugs you take or use. Include any herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements as well to help determine if it is safe for you to take Fosamax.
It is important that you avoid certain medications during your treatment with Fosamax. In particular, you should avoid the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil, Motrin, and Aleve. Combining these with Fosamax may result in negative drug interactions and more severe side effects, so you should do so only under the guidance of your doctor.
Also, advise your physician if you experience jaw pain or numbness while taking the medication, especially if it occurs in conjunction with swelling, bruising or loosening of the teeth, as these may signal bone loss in the jaw. Dentists should be told that you are taking Fosamax prior to any dental procedures.