Q. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis around menopause and was prescribed Fosamax. It gave me flu-like symptoms every time I took it. Actonel gave me an ulcer.
My doctor discovered I have celiac disease, which explains why I developed osteoporosis so young. I am reluctant to keep taking bisphosphonates like Reclast or Boniva because of reports about brittle bones. Are there other options?
A. We’re sorry you have had trouble with bisphosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel). Such drugs increase bone density but can cause bone, joint and muscle pain, blurred vision, heartburn and flu-like symptoms.
We are sending you our Guide to Osteoporosis with a discussion of risk factors such as celiac disease. It also discusses many other options, including drugs like Evista, Forteo and calcitonin (Miacalcin), along with non-drug suggestions for stronger bones.
Celiac disease is caused by an immune reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. This results in poor absorption of nutrients that can lead to osteoporosis.