Question

Once a year I receive an infusion of Reclast. How safe is this and how does it compare to taking the pill?

Answer

While pills may be taken daily, weekly or monthly, Reclast requires an annual infusion. Therefore, those who dislike taking medication often may prefer an annual infusion. While there is no defined optimal duration of use, the FDA asks patients at low risk for fracture to consider discontinuing bisphosphonates after 3-5 years. This recommendation was based off studies indicating that taking bisphosphonates for more than six years may do more harm than good. The FDA expressed additional safety concerns for both pills and infusions. Clinical trials indicated that bisphosphonates may come with a variety of health problems such as severe heartburn, renal impairment, cancer, ulcers, and jaw tissue damage. According to the FDA, one study “found a doubling of the risk of esophageal cancer among patients who had 10 or more prescriptions of the drugs, or who had taken the drugs over 3 years” for bisphosphonate pills. For an in-depth account of bisphosphonate pills, you can review the FDA reports of FOSAMAX, Didronel, Actonel and Skelid. There are many drugs on the market for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. Therefore, it’s important to discuss these options with your healthcare provider to ensure your decision reflects the most safe and effective treatment.


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