Fosamax Plus D
What is Fosamax Plus D?
Commonly prescribed when you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, Fosamax Plus D works by:
- Reducing the activity of the cells that cause bone loss
- Decreasing the faster rate of bone loss that occurs after menopause
- Increasing the amount of bone in most patients
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become more porous, gradually making them weaker and more brittle. Men and women’s bodies go through a continuous bone-building cycle in which old bone is broken down and new bone is formed. Osteoporosis is caused by an imbalance in this cycle in which too much bone is broken down and not completely built.
Mostly occurring in women after menopause, osteoporosis can cause one-third of a woman’s lifetime bone loss in the first 5 years following menopause. This rapid bone loss can cause bones to become thin, fragile, and more likely to fracture. Although it is less common in men, osteoporosis can still occur. Men naturally have larger, stronger bones than women, and their bone loss generally starts later in life.
How do you test for osteoporosis?
There are 2 types of bone density tests:
- Peripheral machines measure such sites as your finger, wrist, or heel
- Central machines measure your hip, spine, or total body.
Some tests use ultrasounds. Others use small amounts of radiation to determine the thickness or density of bones. BMD (bone mineral density) tests are safe, pain-free, and easy.
What is the “Plus D” in Fosamax Plus D?
The Plus D stands for vitamin D. Adequate intake of vitamin D helps heighten the absorption of calcium, which is crucial for bone development. Even if you are eating a diet rich in calcium or taking a calcium supplement, your body cannot absorb calcium properly unless you have enough vitamin D. Severe vitamin D deficiency may cause muscle weakness, which can lead to falls and a greater risk of fracture.
Why should I take Fosamax Plus D?
Ninety-six percent of patients, on either a once-daily or once-weekly schedule, increased or maintained bone mass with results showing as soon as 3 months after therapy with Fosamax Plus D had begun.
Who should not take Fosamax Plus D?
You should not use Fosamax Plus D if you:
- Have certain disorders of the esophagus
- Are not able to stand or sit upright for 30 minutes
- Have severe kidney disease
- Low blood calcium
Before taking Fosamax Plus D, speak with your doctor if you have or have had stomach or digestive problems or problems with swallowing. In addition, you should talk to your doctor if you have conditions that may cause an overproduction of vitamin D (eg, sarcoidosis, leukemia, lymphoma). Lastly, tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Does Fosamax Plus D have any side effects?
If you develop new or worsening heartburn, difficult or painful swallowing, or chest pain, stop taking Fosamax Plus D and contact your doctor immediately – these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems. Also contact your doctor if you develop severe bone, joint and/or muscle pain. Mild digestive side effects may include stomach pain, indigestion/heartburn, and nausea.
If side effects persist or worsen while taking Fosamax Plus D, contact your doctor right away.
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