Just six months after saying there's no link between osteoporosis meds and a higher risk of bone breaks, the FDA now says that osteoporosis meds have been linked to a higher risk of bone breaks.
But don't worry--now that they know there's a real risk, they're... well, they're not doing much.
What'd you expect, a recall?
Of course not... so instead of urging women to try better, safer ways to improve bone strength and lower osteoporosis risk, the feds are ordering patients to keep right on taking these dangerous bone-cracking drugs.
All they plan to do is update the drugs' labels to include a new warning--an ordinary warning, not the infamous "black box" of doom--and include that warning in a medication guide.
The meds affected are the bisphosphonates: Fosamax, Fosamax Plus D, Actonel, Actonel with Calcium, Boniva, Atelvia and all their generic incarnations, as well as injectable Reclast and Boniva.
As I mentioned earlier this year, studies have found that women who take bisphosphonate meds for five years or more have an increased risk of a sudden and dramatic break in the femur, also known as the thighbone. (Read about it
One study found that the bones can show signs of brittleness after four years of meds--which is really no time at all for a drug many women are expected to take forever.
If you or anyone you love has been taking bisphosphonate drugs, here's the most important thing you need to know right now: The breaks often come with a warning sign in the form of a dull ache or pain in the thigh or groin area.
Feel anything like that, and see your doctor stat--it could mean you're just weeks away from a debilitating fracture.
And that's not the only risk these meds carry. As I told you just a few weeks ago, osteoporosis drugs have also been linked to esophageal cancer. (Click here to read more.)
Luckily, you have other options--because good nutrition and some key supplements can do far more for your bones than drugs ever will, and I'm not talking about those little calcium candies that many women think will protect them.
Calcium is only the beginning of a good plan for bone health. Because it's so poorly absorbed by the body, it needs some help getting in--and that help comes from magnesium and vitamin D.
And guess what you probably don't have.
That's right--magnesium and vitamin D are among our leading nutritional deficiencies.
If you can't get enough calcium and magnesium from diet, and vitamin D from sunlight, be sure to add a high-quality supplement to the mix.
And then, be sure to enjoy a beer at the end of the day: Ales such as India pale ales, pale ales and regular ale have some of the highest natural levels of bone-building silicon. (Read more about that here.)
There's a reason to make every night ladies' night!