Q. I’ve been taking Fosamax for about twelve years. (I’m 45.) Last summer I had acid reflux and pain. My doctor discovered I have Barrett’s esophagus, a pre-malignant condition of the esophagus.
I hate to think I could have ended up with esophageal cancer. Could Fosamax have caused my esophagus problem? My doctors disagree.
In any event, no more Fosamax for me. I’d be very interested in any information you have on other approaches to osteoporosis.
A. Fosamax can be very irritating to the esophagus. Diane Wysowski, PhD, of the FDA has suggested that people with Barrett’s esophagus should not take it (New England Journal of Medicine, Jan. 1, 2009).
There don’t seem to be enough data to determine if Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva actually increase the risk of esophageal cancer (New England Journal of Medicine, April 23, 2009). This is a controversial question. We are sending you our Guide to Osteoporosis, which has a more complete discussion of risk factors, prevention, and other treatments for this condition.