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Why Take an Osteoporosis Drug That Kills Your Bones?

You may have seen advertisements recently in the various electronic media with Oscar-award winning actress Sally Field promoting Boniva, just one of the class of bisphosphonate drugs (Fosamax and Actonel some of the other major players) intended to treat patients with osteoporosis or cancer. I wonder if the movie star would've appeared in those ads had she known about osteonecrosis, a growing and serious problem that may kill the bone in the jaws of as much as 10 percent of cancer patients taking a bisphosphonate drug.

Although I warned you about the dangers of this class of drugs eight years ago, apparently the mega-drug companies are getting pretty concerned as patients flock to oral surgeons and dentists for answers to this awful side effect, and firm answers are close to nonexistent.

Even worse, if you stop taking those bone-killing drugs, that doesn't end the risk either. Because a bisphosphonate drug can remain in bones for years, nobody knows how long a patient's risk of osteonecrosis will last.

And, with the outbreak of jaw decay, here come the lawsuits to Merck and Procter and Gamble. Some safer, natural ways to protect and strengthen your bones without a jaw-killing drug:

New York Times June 2, 2006 Registration Required

Spartanburg Herald-Journal June 2, 2006

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