Skeleton Pirate

Skeleton Pirate
Artist: LindaB


Have you experienced, or read about, negative, and even dangerous, side effects from Fosamax (alendronate), Boniva (ibandronate), Actonel (risedronate), and other bisphosphonates prescribed for osteoporosis? If you have, then rest assured there is a safe, effective treatment for this condition. Strontium, primarily in the form of strontium citrate, is taken orally once a day.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Strontium Ranelate Prescriptions May Be Suspended in the European Union

The European Medicines Agency's Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) has recommended that strontium ranelate (Protelos/Osseor) no longer be used to treat osteoporosis. The PRAC recommendation will now be sent to the Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), which is expected to issue the Agency's final opinion at its meeting on January 20-23, 2014.
After further examination of the data, the PRAC noted that there were four or more cases of both cardiac events and thromboembolism with strontium ranelate for every 1000 patient-years compared with placebo. Moreover, the drug is also associated with other adverse events, including serious skin reactions, disturbances in consciousness, seizures, liver inflammation, and reduced numbers of red blood cells.

Although strontium ranelate does prevent about five nonspinal fractures, 15 spinal fractures, and 0.4 hip fractures for every 1000 patient-years, the committee decided that these benefits did not outweigh the potential risks and therefore the product's use should be suspended until further data support a benefit in a defined patient group.

In April 2013, the PRAC advised restrictions on use of the product, and those restrictions were endorsed by CHMP.

Servier, the manufacturer of strontium ranelate, acquired the patent rights to market strontium malonate everywhere except in the United States, where Osteologix retained the rights. Perhaps, now, Servier will be more inclined to develop and market strontium malonate, which may not have the problems associated with strontium ranelate. However, this is a possibility for the future, not the present.
Strontium citrate, which also may not have the problems associated with strontium ranelate, is currently an option for any patient in the EU who wants to continue taking strontium, if strontium ranelate use is suspended.  I have been taking strontium citrate continuously for six years with no problems.

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Wandering Skeleton

Wandering Skeleton
Artist: Joel Hoekstra

Osteoporotic Bone

Osteoporotic Bone

How Strontium Builds Bones

Strontium is a mineral that tends to accumulate in bone. Studies have shown that oral doses of strontium are a safe and effective way to prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Doses of 680 mg per day appear to be optimal. See my "For More Information About Strontium" links section.

Osteoporosis is caused by changes in bone production. In healthy young bones there is a constant cycle of new bone growth and bone removal. With age, more bone is removed and less new bone is produced. The bones become less dense and thus more fragile.

Scientists believe that strontium works in two ways. It may stimulate the replication of pre-osteoblasts, leading to an increase in osteoblasts (cells that build bone). Strontium also directly inhibits the activity of osteoclasts (cells that break down bone). The result is stronger bones.

When taking strontium, be sure to take 1200 mg calcium, 1000 IU vitamin D3, and 500 mg magnesium daily. It is best to take strontium late at night on an empty stomach. Calcium and strontium may compete with each other for absorption if taken together.