Many years ago the folks who were then our medical practicioners strongly urged me to go on hormone replacement therapy drugs, stressing that it was the best thing I could do for my heart, even more effective than losing weight and getting in shape. I declined, having no wish to take any drugs that were not absolutely necessary. Now that HRT has been linked with serious problems—especially for the heart!—I feel justified in my reluctance.

No one has yet suggested I take Fosamax or any other drug that targets osteoporosis, but I foresee it coming, given my age and sex, and find myself skeptical once again. So I was not surprised last week during a visit to the dentist, when I was handed a paper with the impressive title, Bisphosphonate Medications and Your Oral Health, which I was able to find online as well. The article begins with the following warning:

If you use a bisphosphonate medication to prevent or treat osteoporosis (a thinning of the bones) or as part of cancer treatment, you should advise your dentist.

It seems that in rare instances these drugs can cause osteonecrosis of the jaw, severe loss or destruction of the jawbone. No doubt these drugs do much good in many cases, but it's important to understand the risk that something we take to strengthen our bones just might have the opposite effect.

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, October 7, 2006 at 9:47 pm | Edit
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