“Drug Holiday”

October 28, 2011 2 Comments

“Drug Holiday”.  How does that work?  After 5 or more years on Bisphosphonate medication, there is often enough accumulated medication to maintain Bone Mineral Density for 2 or 3 or more years without adding more medication.  That is a great way to Take Control Naturally – with only occasional help from pharmaceuticals.

Of course you still must consume enough Calcium, Vitamin D, and Multiple Vitamins & Minerals in food or in supplements.

How long does that work?  We don’t know unless we monitor BMD with DXA, and also monitor VFA.

“Drug Holiday” is possible because Bisphosphonates (Fosamax, Alendronate, Actonel, Boniva, IV Boniva, and Reclast) accumulate in the bones.  The Bisphosphonate medication hides in the bone waiting for the Osteoclasts to try to gobble up bone.  The medication then disables or kills the Osteoclast that gobbles the bone.  This is true for Bisphosphonates only, not for other Antiresorptives.

Monitor BMD with DXA testing.  Check VFA for Vertebral Compression Fractures too.  BMD and Fracture Risk are not the same thing, especially after you have been on medications for a while.  If BMD and VFA are both holding steady, you are probably OK.  If not, consider resuming medication.

Is it truely a “Drug Holiday”?  You must always maintain Calcium, Vitamin D, Multiple Vitamins & Minerals, and monitor BMD and VFA.  It is a temporary holiday from taking additional medication.

Jay Ginther, MD

October 2011

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  • Steve

    Can you advise the quarterly injection options for a bisphosphonate that promotes hip bone health, as an alterntive to Boniva injections (which apparently have not been FDA approved for addressing hip bone density)?

    Also, can you summarize the options for weekly or monthly pill for bisphonsphonate that promote hip bone density in addition to spine and other bones?


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