Q. I have taken prednisone for years due to an arthritic condition. Because of stomach upset, my doctor has prescribed Nexium to prevent an ulcer.
I was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis and wonder what can be done to counteract the bone-damaging effects of my medicine.
A. Dozens of drugs can weaken bones. Oral corticosteroids such as prednisone are especially problematic when used for long periods of time. Even inhaled steroids (Advair, Flovent, Symbicort, etc) may pose problems over time.
There is also concern that regular reliance on acid-suppressing drugs such as Nexium (esomeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole) might also increase the risk for fractures (Archives of Internal Medicine, May 10, 2010).
Because you have osteoporosis, you are at high risk for a fracture. It is essential that you work with your doctor to develop a treatment strategy, so we are sending you our Guide to Osteoporosis. It has a discussion of risk factors, non-drug approaches and the pros and cons of medications such as Actonel, Boniva and Fosamax.