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I was recently asked about Actonel, a bisphosphonate used to treat sufferers of osteoporosis, and if it was known to cause osteonecrosis like Fosamax, Zometa, and Aredia. The short answer is YES. All of these drugs are members of the family of drugs known as bisphosphonates. A link has been found between bisphosphonates and a bone disease called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). Bisphosphonates are drugs that alter calcium levels in bone structure. Bisphosphonate therapy is designed to strengthen bone and to help prevent the fractures and pain that often results from bone metastases.

The problem with Actonel, Zometa and Aredia, which one clinical professor characterized as “a possible epidemic,” is that while these drugs may help prevent fractures in the hip and spine, they may also disrupt bone remodeling process (osteoclast/osteoblast axis) in the jaws. This may lead to bone death in the jaw.

For many who use Actonel, Fosamax, Zometa, and Aredia, this information may come as a shock. Recent studies and case reports are now hitting the headlines and showing just how dangerous these drugs can be. For more information on these drugs consult with your doctor to find out if you should still continue to use these potentially dangerous drugs or you can click here to read about my previous posting on Fosamax.

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