The Food and Drug Administration came out with some important news on bisphosphonates last month. Bisphosphonates are a common treatment and prevention medication for osteoporosis, and are marketed through brands like Boniva, Fosamax, Actonel and Reclast.
The report warns physicians of the possibility of bone, joint and/or muscle pain connected to the use of these drugs. It can take anywhere from days to years after starting the medication for the pain to start. And it can be very severe.
The FDA report says in nearly all cases, the pain stopped when the medication was cut off.
So far, the pain associated with bisphosphonates is uncommon, which might explain why this issue didn’t come up during clinical trials. Another challenge has been distinguishing the medication-induced pain from regular aches that come with aging.
If you are on any of these medications and are experiencing long-lasting and severe pain, check with your physician. You may be taken off the medication permanently, or until another culprit is pinpointed. The FDA is still studying the problem.