Osteoporosis, Paget’s Disease and Alendronate
As part of the of drug family called bisphosphonates alendronate sodium works by increasing the thickness of bone by slowing down the cells that usually break down bone. This allows the cells that build bone to work more efficiently. Alendronate can help to reduce the incidence of osteoporosis-related fractures by making bones stronger.
Most patients can expect to see an increase in bone density after 3 months. Alendronate can help treat and prevent osteoporosis as long as it is taken consistently. Alendronate controls but does not cure osteoporosis and Paget’s disease of bone, but instead slows down the progression of these conditions.
Short-term use of Alendronate
In results from the Fracture Intervention Trial Long-term Extension (FLEX) study published in 2006 suggests that some women can eventually stop or take a break from taking Alendronate. That study included women who had taken Alendronate for at least five years. The participants were randomly assigned to continue the drug or switch to a placebo for five more years. Individuals who discontinued use showed a slow decline in bone density and a moderate increase in the risk for spine fractures. The rate of hip fracture, a far more serious injury, was the same in the both groups. Therefore, Alendronate treatment significantly reduced the incidence of injury and hospitalizations.
Patients taking Alendronate will need bone density tests every year or two after they discontinue use. If their bone density has declined significantly, an individual can always resume bisphosphonate therapy.
If dosage instructions are followed correctly by patient, it may help avoid damage to the esophagus or sores in the mouth when taking this medication. Dosage of Alendronate is available in pill starting at 5 to 70 mg and in oral solution at 70 mg as base. Instructions are simple, such as taking after getting up from bed and before eating or drinking anything.
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