Harvard Women's Health Watch

By the way, doctor: Should I stop taking bisphosphonates?

Q. I'm hearing more and more about deterioration of the jawbone associated with bisphosphonate drugs. I've been taking Fosamax for over six years for osteoporosis. What should I do?

A. Bisphosphonates are widely prescribed for osteoporosis. They are also used to treat bone pain and other complications in cancer patients who have bone involvement. Besides alendronate (Fosamax), these drugs include risedronate (Actonel), ibandronate (Boniva), tiludronate (Skelid) and etidronate (Didronel), which are taken by mouth, and the more potent zoledronate (Zometa), pamidronate (Aredia), and clodronate (Bonefos), which are given intravenously.

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