New osteoporosis drug gets it all wrong--again!

Tough Breaks

Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results is a definition of insanity.

In that case, many drug makers and FDA officials are completely bat-house crazy.

Unfortunately, they’re inflicting their insanity on us women, over and over, and doing quite a bit of harm.

The issue is bone resorption and formation–a natural and necessary process that renews bone structure by removing old bone components (resorption) and replacing them with new components.

Fosamax and other biophosphate drugs suppress resorption in osteoporosis patients. On paper, that might sound like a good plan to prevent fractures–until formation outpaces resorption. Then, risk of fracture may actually increase!

The FDA and drug makers are well aware of that risk, of course. But this ludicrous osteoporosis defense continues to be touted as the best available.

So what do FDA officials do? They just approved a new type of osteoporosis drug (not a biophosphate) for patients at high risk of fracture. And they describe it like this: “Prolia works to decrease the destruction of bone and increase bone mass and strength.”

Again–it SOUNDS good. You don’t want your bones to be destroyed, right? But it’s not destruction, it’s resorption. And if you increase bone mass but decrease resorption, guess what’s going to happen!

Moment of clarity

A WebMD Health News article examines the way Prolia works: “The drug slows the bone-breakdown process — but also slows the entire bone-remodeling process. Over the long term, it’s not yet clear what this will mean.”

Not clear? It’s perfectly clear! And the FDA press release offers this very clear glimpse of the future for Prolia users: “Prolia causes significant suppression of bone turnover and this suppression may contribute to the occurrence of osteonecrosis of the jaw, a severe bone disease that affects the jaw, atypical fractures, and delayed fracture healing.”

How severe is osteonecrosis? The literal meaning of the word is “bone death.” Which is not really what most women are looking for when they take an osteoporosis drug.

If osteonecrosis of the jaw was the only Prolia adverse side effect, that would be plenty enough to make you run for the hills. But the FDA notes these other side effects they describe as “most common”:

  • Back pain
  • Pain in the extremities
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Urinary bladder infections

And speaking of infections, here’s WebMD again: “In clinical trials, women taking Prolia had a higher risk of serious infections leading to hospitalization, including heart infections. Skin reactions such as dermatitis, rashes, and eczema also were reported.”

And to cap it all off, Prolia may cause calcium levels to drop, cutting back on the mineral your bones need most.

One word: insanity.

In “Rags to Riches” you’ll find MUCH safer ways to improve bone health and reduce fracture risk.

HSI members can also check their February 2010 Members Alert for the HSI exclusive article “Reverse osteoporosis AND erase osteoarthritis with a single pill.” That pill is a unique supplement formula which contains anti-inflammatory proteins that can actually turn on the healing process in bone tissue.

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To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson

“FDA Approves New Injectable Osteoporosis Treatment for Postmenopausal Women” FDA News Release, 6/1/10,
“FDA OKs Prolia for High-Risk Osteoporosis” Daniel J. DeNoon, WebMD Health News, 6/2/10,

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