The Osteoporosis Wonder Drug
Fosomax is a pharmaceutical drug approved, in its generic form, by the FDA in 2008 for treatment of osteoporosis as well as other degenerative bone diseases. It was patented by the Merck & Co., inc company, but their U.S. patent on the drug expired in 2008. Fosomax is often bundled with Vitamin D to further support bone health and retard the progression of degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Fosomax, like all other pharmaceutical drugs, has both the potential to greatly benefit and relieve patients as well as the potential to cause significant harm, and it should only be taken under a qualified doctor's supervision and direction.
Fosomax is the brand name which refers to alendronic acid, or alendronate sodium, the active compound in the drug. Fosomax is known for its very low bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the amount of an ingested drug that actually survives the various bodily systems, such as the liver and blood-brain-barrier, in order to produce a desired effect on the system. This compound features an average bioavailability of only 0.06 to 0.07% in fasting conditions, which means that only 0.06% of an ingested dose will have an effect on its target region - the skeletal system. As is the case with other compounds, eating and drinking along with the dose will further decrease its bioavailability. Nevertheless, once the drug is taken, it binds to exposed bone surfaces.
Effects on Osteoporosis
Osteoclasts (which mean "bone breakers") are bone cells responsible for breaking down bone matter and returning the minerals and fluids from bone into the bloodstream. As the human body ages, the rate of bone turnover, the speed at which the body loses bone mass and density, increases. Fosomax works by acting to inhibit, or slow, the action of osteoclasts. In clinical studies, this drug, when taken by women that had already passed through menopause, had a regulating and preserving effect on bone density. This drug has also been demonstrated to successfully increase and preserve bone mineral density, an indicator of bone health which can decrease rapidly with the onset of osteoporosis and other degenerative bone disorders.
Specifically, fosomax has demonstrated success in preserving the bone mineral density of the spine, wrists and hips. This drug can also improve the bone mineral density of the entire body as well as reduce the likelihood of all non-vertebral factures in addition to spine fractures and wrist fractures. Alendronate is often bundled with supplemental calcium as well as Vitamin D in order to further improve bone health and hardness.
Although fosomax offers wonderful potential benefits to people at-risk for, or already suffering from, degenerative bone diseases, like any other pharmaceutical it carries significant potential risks for serious harm. This drug may, rarely, contribute to neurological disturbances such as auditory hallucinations and disruptions in vision. In some patients, fosomax causes general and difficult to diagnose muscle, joint and bone pain. Perhaps most seriously of all, fosomax sometimes leads to ulceration of the esophagus, an extremely dangerous condition which usually requires hospitalization. Likewise, patients taking fosomax for an extended period of time run the risk of developing ulceration of the gastric system and duodenum in particular. In order to increase your chances of success and good health while taking this drug, make sure your prescribing doctor is made aware of your dietary habits, medications, and alcohol and drug intake. Even some common over the counter medications, such as ranitidine, which is a popular over the counter compound used in several different antacid treatments, can interact with this compound and increase its potency.