Fosamax is a drug from a category of drugs called bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates are used to treat and prevent osteoporosis and bone loss, something that many women, and even some men experience as they get older. This is a condition that can come with age, and is not curable. But, it is manageable through bisphosphonates such as Fosamax and a few lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and calcium and vitamin supplements.
Once you’re prescribed Fosamax, you’re on it for the long run. Generally, Doctors will prescribe this drug to prevent osteoporis and build bone density for a period of 5 years or 10 years, sometimes more, depending on the patients individual needs.
What if after a few short years, you decide Fosamax is not for you. In the unlikely event you develop stomach or esophagus problems, which can happen, you may want to consider alternative treatment. You may also be exploring other options after learning about recent studies linking Fosamax with Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ) or spontaneous femur fractures. Perhaps you yourself have suffered one of these unfortunate effects of Fosamax. Deciding to discontinue use, you may be wondering how long Fosamax remains in your Body?
Some drugs, like Accutane, which are used to treat a specific, short term problem stays in your system for months after discontinued use. But, Fosamax which is used to treat a long term problem, stays in your system indefinitely.
What’s surprising about Fosamax is, only about 0.6% at most, of a Fosamax dosage is actually used by your body and the rest is excreted through the kidneys. This is why Fosamax is not recommended for people with a history of Kidney Problems. The 0.6% that is used by your body gets incorporated into your bone matrix and stays indefinitely. Your bone cells grow around the medication, and once covered by your bone, it is no longer active. The incorporated drug has a half life of more than 10 years. A benefit to this is that after taking Fosamax for five years, the benefits of the drug, can last for an additional five years.
Some Studies are advising that using Fosamax for longer than 5 years, may actually be counterproductive, and may increase the risk of Fractures.
As with any medication, If you are concerned about the long term risks of Fosamax, or are thinking about getting off of Fosamax, please talk to your doctor about the benefits, risks, and alternative treatments.