In 2008, the FDA approved the once-a-month Actonel dose. Their reasoning came from a single study that compared the benefits of a daily 5mg Actonel dose with a monthly 150mg dose, and the monthly dose was found to be “just as effective.” The new dosage was hailed as a more convenient option; no more remembering to take a pill each day.
Think about this for a moment. The once-a-month Actonel dose may be more convenient, but what does this seemingly good news say about the persistence of this drug in the system?
Long-Lasting Effects, Good and Bad
Apparently, Actonel has very long-lasting effects, and it stands to reason that this would apply to nasty side effects as well. Ironically, the following warning appears on Actonel’s own website: “Stop taking Actonel® and tell your doctor right away if you have trouble or pain when you swallow, chest pain, or new or worsening heartburn, as these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems.”1 But how can you stop taking a medication that is intended to last for 30 days? Once you take that once-a-month dose, it’s like taking Actonel daily for the next 30 days.
And isn’t it interesting that the above warning is only applied to the “mild” side effects? The warning goes on in a separate section: “Side effects may include stomach pain, upset stomach, or back, muscle, bone or joint pain, sometimes severe. … Promptly tell your doctor if you develop dental problems, as serious jawbone problems have been reported rarely. Inform your doctor of any new or unusual pain in your hip, groin, or thigh as unusual thigh bone fractures have been reported rarely.” There’s nothing there about stopping Actonel if you experience these side effects, which is telling – maybe they don’t want you to make the connection that you really can’t stop the once-a-month Actonel dose once you start.
Higher Dose, Higher Risk
Notice how often the term “rarely” is used in the Actonel warning above. The side effects are made to sound like unusual, freak events that happen to “the other guy.” First of all, cases of severe side effects are grossly under-reported, making them seem rarer than they really are. Second of all, and perhaps more important, all bisphosphonates (and Actonel is a bisphosphonate) do harm in the end, even if you don’t experience the side effects printed on the label. The bottom line is, downing 150mg in one dose simply raises the risk for both short-term and long-term negative effects.
The once-a-month Actonel dose is not a “better” form of Actonel; it’s still a toxic bisphosphonate with all the damaging power that comes with those substances.
No Dose, No Risk
One of the most amazing and powerful things about the Save Our Bones Program is the lack of risk involved. It’s a matter of diet, lifestyle, and balance; it’s about reconnecting with a natural way of life that brings body systems into harmony, including your bones. Don’t fall for the notion that a once-a-month dose of Actonel is somehow less risky or “more convenient.” In fact, don’t fall for the notion that Actonel will help your osteoporosis at all, because ultimately, it will make the problem worse. I urge you to consider try the Save Our Bones Program and embark on a risk-free journey of bone health and restoration.
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