You know that a drug comes with a boatload of terrible side effects when standard practice is to take an occasional “holiday” from it!
Such is the case with bone meds for osteoporosis – particularly bisphosphonates such as Boniva, Fosamax, and Reclast. After three to five years of being on one of these incredibly risky treatments, patients are typically told to take a vacation from them for a year or more.
But since that means money is being taken right out of Big Pharma’s pocket, it’s all hands on deck in an effort to scare women away from doing exactly what they’re supposed to… and scare them into staying on those bisphosphonates non-stop.
When women take a break from these meds, many end up stopping them altogether. And that’s the last thing that drugmakers want.
So, here’s what you need to know before you consider starting up on any of these drugs — or even if you’re already taking one.
Don’t just walk… run!
A number of years ago, when doctors first floated the idea of taking a “holiday” from these heavy-duty osteoporosis meds, it made perfect sense. After all, the longer you take them, the greater the chance of suffering serious side effects like osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) or sudden “unusual” breaks in the femur (or thighbone) – the longest, strongest bone in your body!
But considering the impact it was going to have on their paychecks, I can only imagine the looks of shock and dismay on the faces of Pharma executives at the time!
Now, Big Pharma is fighting back – because its cronies are advising doctors that taking a vacation from (or, heaven forbid, quitting!) these bone drugs is like setting out on the Titanic – there’s disaster looming straight ahead!
One is Dr. Nancy Lane, who spent a recent rheumatology shindig warning docs that patients just “can’t walk away” from bone-building meds like Prolia (a “monoclonal antibody” drug) without being at a big risk of suffering a fracture.
Lane, who is a paid “consultant” for Prolia drugmaker Amgen, as well as Abbott and Pfizer, says that a solution for any patient who wants to ditch a drug such as Prolia is to switch them to another kind of osteoporosis med, like an estrogen (one of which Pfizer happens to make) or a bisphosphonate.
But just last week, researchers from Loyola University cautioned about the risks involved in taking a sabbatical from bisphosphonate drugs! They claimed that 15 percent of patients with osteoporosis will suffer a bone fracture during such a drug holiday.
But here’s an important fact that every single one of these doctors has to admit: All of these drugs come along with awful side effects if you continue to take them.
Take ONJ for example. This horrific condition, in which bone cells die off and leave openings in your jaw that don’t heal, is well-known to be linked to many of these osteoporosis meds.
In fact, patients are even advised to make sure that any dental treatments are completed before starting up on these drugs. That’s because undergoing dental work while taking them can accelerate ONJ — leaving you with frightening gaping holes and exposed bone in your mouth!
But the biggest myth of all is that we must accept those risks in order to keep our bones strong as we age.
As I told you last year, researchers at Imperial College London discovered that bisphosphonates can actually weaken bone structure by causing numerous micro-cracks — in effect promoting the very thing they’re said to prevent.
By now, it’s quite obvious that Big Pharma hasn’t given us a real way of protecting our bones from breaking. For that, you’ll need to turn to some much safer solutions!
At the top of the list, you’ll find vitamin D. Taking a D supplement daily with vitamin K (but only the kind derived from natto or nattokinase) is vital toward maintaining your bone health. Actually, if you’re also taking calcium, vitamin K is a requirement so that the mineral ends up in your bones and not your arteries.
And just last month, I told you about some exciting research out of Brazil that showed how the Mediterranean diet can increase both bone density and muscle mass! That means eating lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, fish, and plenty of olive oil.
These natural approaches can do more for your all-around health and longevity — as well as your bones — than anything Big Pharma has to offer.
So, next time you consider taking a vacation, let it be a trip to a beach or fun resort… not a hiatus from a dangerous drug that can end up doing you more harm than good. And if you’re already on one of these bone meds, go ahead and take that vacation – but make sure it’s a permanent one!
“Fifteen percent of osteoporosis patients who take ‘drug holidays’ suffer bone fractures” Loyola University Health System, May 4, 2018, ScienceDaily, sciencedaily.com