Young People Get Osteoporosis Too 

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Please be advised that the inclusion of any medication on this site is not indicative of an endorsement.  I do not have any affiliation with the pharmaceutical corporations that manufacture prescription osteoporosis medications.  I am not a doctor, therefore I am not medically qualified to counsel or advise osteoporosis patients about which medication is best suited for their individual case.

• actonel • aredia • boniva • didronel • evista • Forteo • fosamax • miacalcin • zometa • vivelle • reclast •

Didronel is a medication from the class of drugs called bisphosphonates.  Didronel slows bone resorption (the speed at which bone is broken down before it is replaced), promoting the formation of healthy bone.  It prevents the bone pain, deformity, and fractures associated with Paget's disease.  In cancer-related hypercalcemia, this drug slows bone resorption and thus the flow of calcium from bone into the blood.  Didronel slows the progression of abnormal bone deposition after hip replacement and spinal cord injury.  In osteoporosis, it helps to slow the breakdown of bone tissue.

A number of studies have shown it is effective in the treatment of osteoporosis and it was used by doctors in this country for the treatment of osteoporosis prior to the release of fosamax. It has several advantages over fosamax. It only has to be taken for 14 days every three months. It is much less expensive than Foamex and it may have less GI side effects. In postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, Didronel reduces bone loss, increases bone density in both the spine and hip, and reduces the risk of both spine fractures and hip fractures. Side effects from Didronel are uncommon.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

The absorption of didronel from the gut is reduced if it is taken at the same time as the following:

- calcium supplements
- calcium-containing products (eg milk)
- antacids containing calcium or aluminium
- iron supplements
- laxatives containing magnesium.
These should not be taken within two hours of taking didronel.

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take, including: antacids, "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), calcium supplements, certain antibiotics (e.g., tetracyclines or quinolones such as ciprofloxacin), magnesium-containing laxatives, vitamin products.

Avoid taking this medication within two hours of any dairy product, vitamin with minerals, or antacids since absorption may be affected.

Before Using This Medicine 
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to Didronel. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Diet—Make certain your health care professional knows if your diet includes large amounts of calcium, such as milk or other dairy products, or if you are on any special diet, such as a low-sodium or low-sugar diet. Calcium in the diet may prevent the absorption of oral Didronel.

Pregnancy—Studies have not been done in humans. However, studies in rats injected with large doses of Didronel have shown that Didronel causes deformed bones in the fetus.

Breast-feeding—It is not known if Didronel passes into breast milk. However, this medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children—Some changes in bone growth may occur in children, but will usually go away when the medicine is stopped.

Older adults—When Didronel is given by injection along with a large amount of fluids, older people tend to retain (keep) the excess fluid.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary.

Proper Use of Didronel:
Take Didronel with water on an empty stomach at least 2 hours before or after food (midmorning is best) or at bedtime. Food may decrease the amount of Didronel absorbed by your body.

Take Didronel only as directed . Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

In some patients, Didronel takes up to 3 months to work. If you feel that the medicine is not working, do not stop taking it on your own. Instead, check with your doctor.

It is important that you eat a well-balanced diet with an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D (found in milk or other dairy products). Too much or too little of either may increase the chance of side effects while you are taking Didronel. Your doctor can help you choose the meal plan that is best for you. However, do not take any food, especially milk, milk formulas, or other dairy products, or antacids, mineral supplements, or other medicines that are high in calcium or iron (high amounts of these minerals may also be in some vitamin preparations), magnesium, or aluminum within 2 hours of taking Didronel. To do so may keep this medicine from working properly.