Untold Truth About the New Osteoporosis Drugs
The two new
osteoporosis drugs recently approved by the FDA are alendronate
(marked under the brand name FosamaxTM) and calcitonin (marked under
the brand name Miacalcin TM). We’ll take a brief look at both of
them, including the claims being made for their efficacy and the
potential drawbacks of their usage.
is the first non-hormonal osteoporosis drug to be approved by the
FDA for use in the United States. It is sold by Merck and Company,
Inc. Researchers say it works by binding to the bone that has been
targeted by bone-eating osteoclasts, thereby protecting it from
being broken down. They claim women using the drug in pharmaceutical
company studies lost one-third less height, and suffered 50% fewer
is not clear how, researchers also claim the drug can increase bone
mass. In one study, women using alendronate appeared to have their
spines thickened by three percent a year during the course of a
three year study.
to the drug appears to be four-fold in nature:
1) It happens
that the drug must be used for a long period of time to gain maximum
benefit – possibly for as long as 20 years on a daily basis, and perhaps
for the remainder of the patient’s life in serious cases of the disease.
2) The side effects
of long-term use of the drug are completely unknown – the drug was
only tested for three years. As Dr. Bruce Ettinger, Senior Researcher
at Kaiser Permanent Medical Program in Northern California has stated,
We don’t have a clue as to its long-term safety. I would be extremely
cautious before giving it to a 50-year old who hasn’t started to experience
3) At least some
of the drug stays in the bone forever, even if use of the drug is
halted. Again, potential long-term side effects of this drug in the
human body are completely unknown.
drug is expensive.
is a hormonal drug that appears to slow down bone-eating osteoclasts.
It has been used successfully in the U.S. for more than a decade,
but only in an injectable form that did not gain many adherents
due to the necessity of taking painful shoots in the thigh on a
daily basis. Now the drug is available in a more convenient nasal
spray. Researchers claim that although the injectable form has
very few side effects, the spray form is only half as effective
as Alendronate, resulting in bone mass gains of only one and a half
percent per year, during the course of a two-year study.
side-effects of the drug were not clearly spelled out in recent
press releases and news articles, except to say that the spray could
irritate the nose with long-term use, leading to pain, nose bleeds,
or sinus inflammation. Like Alendronate, Calcitonin is expensive.
Real Problem With These Drugs
The real problem
with these drugs is that neither of them comes anywhere near to
addressing the actual cause of osteoporosis. Instead of helping
stop osteoporosis, they directly interfere with the body’s own natural
process. In other words, the underlying cause of the osteoporosis
still exists. But the drugs unnaturally repress the body’s responses
to these underlying causes in an effort to stop the resulting bone
From our point
of view, it is this unnatural repression of the body’s natural response
to systemic malfunction that makes the drugs so undesirable. If
the same problem could be treated and reversed naturally, without
repressing the body’s responses to the underlying problem, then
that should be the preferred form of treatment.
But for the
big pharmaceutical companies there are no billion dollar profits
to be made in unpatentable natural remedies – however effective
they may be! Therefore, instead of a safe, all-natural remedy,
you get powerful hormones and drugs (which have known cancer risks
and/or unknown long-term side effects) as the only alternative to
the suffering from this dreaded disease.
osteoporosis is not caused by a lack of the drug Alendronate. Nor
is it caused by a lack of the hormonal drug Calcitonin. Yet the
orthodox medical establishment continues to put forth drugs like
these as cures for the disease, when in reality they are only makeshift
or stopgap measures that must be used forever – and potentially
dangerous ones at that.
Drugs on the Horizon
On the immediate
horizon are a host of other highly suspect osteoporosis drugs ,
now awaiting approval by the FDA. Among them are:
Sodium Fluoride – this drug seems to slow down bone-eating osteoclasts
and boost the efficiency of bone-building osteoblasts. However,
it is merely a slow-release version of the same formula that, in
the 1980’s, caused peptic ulcers and built bone that was too brittle
to withstand everyday rigors. The manufactures claim the new slow
release version avoids these side effects. But many doctors have
expressed skepticism and are asking for larger studies before they
will even consider using the new formulation. What’s more, if this
drug is approved, patients will have to get a yearly blood fluoride
check to make sure the drug stays below toxic levels in the body.
– this is another hormonal drug that seems to aid in the absorption
of calcium and helps stimulate bone-building osteoblasts. Unfortunately,
researchers say that in high doses it can cause kidney stones, particularly
if patients also take 800 mg. of calcium daily, or ingest that much
in their diet.