Alendronate, Etidronate and Risedronate belong to a group of drugs called Bisphosphonates. Your GP might prescribe one of these medications for you if you have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis, as Bisphosphonates are proven to prevent the loss of bone mass and can reduce the risk of fragility fractures if taken as prescribed. Not everyone agrees on how long Bisphosphonates should be taken for. However, most experts agree that they need to be taken for a number of years to see the full effect. Most doctors recommend that a Bisphosphonate be taken for at least five years. After this they will review you to see if you still need to take it (Patient.co.uk).
The National Osteoporosis Society developed a new patient information leaflet in October 2014 that contains easy-to-understand and up to date information about the available drug treatments for Osteoporosis. We recommend you to have a look at this leaflet for general information about medications that are commonly prescribed by your doctor if you have Osteoporosis.
For further general, patient friendly information about Bisphposphonates Better Bones recommends you to look at patient.co.uk. Click here to access this web source.
In addition, there are numerous patient leaflets available that have been developed by trusted sources. NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has developed a booklet about when Alendronate, Etidronate, Risedronate, Raloxifene, Strontium Ranelate and Teriparatide should be used to prevent bone fractures in postmenopausal women (that is, women who have gone through the menopause). It is written for women with Osteoporosis but it may also be useful for their families or carers or anyone with an interest in the condition. The guidance covers women who have already had a fracture because of Osteoporosis. It is slightly more technical than the previous ones. You can access this booklet here: NOS Drug Treatments for Osteoporosis.
Furthermore, if you would like to find out more about the use of Bisphosphonates, please visit the website of MHRA. The MHRA is responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK by ensuring they work and are acceptably safe. The MHRA is an executive agency of the Department of Health.
Better Bones is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.
Copyright©Nashat Siddiqui Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon