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, March 2, 2014

Calcium Polycarbophil, Strontium & Other Meds

I am writing this post because of a mistake I recently made. I want to prevent others from doing the same. I have repeatedly written that, because products containing calcium may prevent your body from absorbing your strontium, you should not take products containing calcium within two hours before or after taking strontium. Yet, recently, I began taking calcium polycarbophil at night, with my simvastatin (statin drug for lowering cholesterol levels), followed an hour later by my strontium citrate. A week or two later, I realized I may have reduced the effectiveness of both the simvastatin and the strontium citrate.

I knew there was calcium in the polycarbophil laxative, but I simply forgot while trying to juggle all my over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, and supplements.  I also knew that laxatives can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines. Therefore, you should avoid taking polycarbophil within two hours before or after you take any other medications.

Calcium polycarbophil is used to treat constipation. It is known as a bulk-forming laxative. Brand Names include: Equalactin, Fiber Lax, FiberCon, Fiberlax, Fibernorm, Konsyl Fiber, Perdiem Fiber Caplet.

I’ve been using Publix Fiber Caplets, which contain 625 mg calcium polycarbophil (active ingredient) per caplet. The list of inactive ingredients includes calcium carbonate. Each caplet contains 125 mg calcium, and the normal dose is two caplets up to four times a day. My one dose once a day contains 250 mg calcium.  FiberCon has 244 milligrams of calcium per two-caplet dose.

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.