Alert! Oral Bisphosphonates Increase Risk Of Macular Degeneration - Save Our Bones

Today is World Osteoporosis Day, an awareness campaign organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) since 1997. This year’s campaign slogan is: “Love Your Bones – Protect Your Future,” intended to encourage people to adopt a healthful lifestyle and discuss the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases with their doctor.

The problem with this “early intervention” approach is that an osteoporosis or osteopenia diagnosis quickly turns into a prescription for an osteoporosis drug, usually a bisphosphonate such as alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), risedronate (Actonel), pamidronate (Aredia), or zoldedronic acid (Reclast).

As if the known dangerous side effects of these drugs were not enough, researchers are now sounding yet another alarm about these harmful drugs. Based on a just-published study on the effects of bisphosphonates on the macula, we can now add macular degeneration to the long list of awful side effects.

Here at the Save Institute, we celebrate World Osteoporosis Day in a very different way! We encourage, inspire, and inform rather than focus on doom and gloom.

Brand-New Report: Millions With Osteoporosis Go Undiagnosed And “Untreated”

In anticipation of World Osteoporosis Day, the IOF has issued a report showing that fracture sufferers experience a lack of “protection” against future fractures.1 They point the finger at gaps in care, which prevent a timely diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis all around the world.

There’s no question that fractures, particularly hip fractures, can be debilitating, and preventing them makes a whole lot of sense. But here’s what this report fails to recognize: falls, not fragile bones, are the real culprit behind fractures. If the IOF researchers had done their research properly, they would be aware of this information, which was published in the highly-respected BMJ in 2015.

They also would have seen the ample evidence pointing to over-diagnosis as a far greater problem than under-diagnosis. The first step in the over-diagnosis direction was to label osteoporosis a disease (it isn’t). Then over the years, the parameters for an osteoporosis diagnosis have been widened, and as of the early 1990s, they include a completely fabricated “condition” called osteopenia.

In fact, the criteria for both an osteopenia and osteoporosis diagnosis were decided quite arbitrarily at a 1992 conference sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the IOF.

This is what happens when “awareness” runs amok, and suddenly, Mainstream Medicine sees “fragile bones” – and the potential for them – at every turn. Unfortunately, the beneficiaries of this approach are not the people, but profit-driven Big Pharma instead.

The Not-So-Subtle Motivation Behind The Report

While it may sound philanthropic and caring to raise osteoporosis awareness, World Osteoporosis Day is used by the Establishment to promote osteoporosis drugs. This is the real meaning behind phrases such as “talk to your doctor about early detection” and the like.

However, early (and anytime) intervention in the form of adopting a bone-healthy lifestyle, especially if your current lifestyle includes behaviors that put you at risk for low bone density, is a great idea.

This type of drug-free intervention is simple, effective, and allows you to avoid osteoporosis drugs and their dangerous side effects. As a matter of fact, research has just uncovered yet another disturbing and debilitating side effect of bisphosphonates, the most commonly prescribed type of osteoporosis drug.

Bisphosphonates Increase Risk Of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Vision problems such as blurring and even blindness are well-known side effects of bisphosphonates. To gain a deeper understanding of how these drugs affect the eyes, a team of Canadian researchers conducted a study using three angles: disproportionality analysis, case-control study, and self-controlled case series. After analyzing reports of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and bisphosphonate use, they concluded that:

“Continuous users of oral bisphosphonates are at a higher risk of developing wet AMD.”2

Wet AMD is so called because of the leakage of the abnormal, sub-retinal blood vessels as they grow toward the macula (the macula is an oval area in the center of the retina). In dry AMD, which is more common, progression is slower as the retina forms small, yellowish deposits under the macula. These deposits, called drusen, do not leak blood or any other fluid.

Wet AMD may be less common, but it is more serious: it accounts for around 90% of all vision loss related to AMD.

While the exact mechanism of action is unknown, bisphosphonates clearly have the ability to affect the eyes. This is crucial information to empower you to make informed decisions about your treatment of choice for your bone health.

At The Save Institute, We Celebrate Knowledge

At the Save Institute, World Osteoporosis Day is all about informing and inspiring you. If you’ve tried to talk to your doctor about drug-free methods of stopping bone loss, chances are you were not offered much guidance. While most doctors are competent, well-meaning professionals, many of them don’t take the time to have conversations with their patients and they often don’t bring themselves up to date on the latest research.

In sharp contrast, at the Save Institute we stay on top of the latest osteoporosis research, so we can bring it all to you. Armed with the truth, you’re empowered to confidently make your own decisions about your health care.

And at the Save Institute we celebrate more than just knowledge: we also celebrate all Savers. Savers are intelligent, well-read truth-seekers whose thirst for knowledge inspires me to continue seeking, learning, and sharing. You take the time to search for answers, and you’re not afraid to embark on a journey on the “road less traveled.”

The Osteoporosis Reversal Program is geared toward instilling confidence. By exposing myths and sharing little-known, scientifically-backed truths about bone health, the Program empowers you by providing everything you need to take charge of your own decisions about your osteoporosis treatment.

With the Program, you’ll learn the truth about vital bone-health topics, including clinical nutrition principles to build strong bones, the role of exercise to prevent and reverse bone loss, and much more. And no less important is that, armed with that knowledge, you’ll learn to trust yourself.

The bottom line is, your body was designed for health, and your bones are meant to be strong. Science has proven that with with proper nutrition and stimulation in the form of exercise, your bones will rejuvenate and flourish, and bone loss can be reversed. Your body is capable of amazing things!

The Osteoporosis Reversal Program provides everything you need to celebrate World Osteoporosis Day – indeed, every day – secure in the knowledge that you’re making the right decisions for your bones.

Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss

Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.

Learn More Now →

Till next time,


1 “Millions of osteoporosis patients remain undiagnosed and untreated: Study.” Daily News and Analysis. October 10, 2016. Web. October 17, 2016.

2 Mammo, Z., et al. “Oral Bisphosphonates and Risk of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration.” Am J Opthalmol. 62. 7. (2016): 168. Web. October 17, 2016.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. June from down under

    Hi Vivian,
    I have a relative in the USA who tells me she gets Prolia shots. I fear for her as she recently has had hip and leg problems getting out of bed. She had to use her hands to move her leg and with pain. I would like you to email me directly the information on Prolia shot also where do you get this shot in the arm etc. I can forward this direct to her as my knowledge of this is limited but know that the side effects are not good like all the others before them. I need some medical backup thanks Vivian. I need to save her bones.

  2. Laura

    I’ve taken Alendronic Acid for some years…But came off them about 3 months ago.
    I now need to have 2 teeth extraction have told my dentist in was concerned about having this done but she says she is confident she will do this at her surgery!
    I’m getting worried in case i have problems with the extractions!!

  3. Bonnie

    Is it possible to get your books in hardcopy? Also, I have not seen that milk or diary is bad for me in your books but you use a substitute so what are the dangers of diary? I never ate a lot of diary except for cheese and now I have severe osteoporosis. I have started your program and getting PT in therapy pool for start. My Dr. told me not to walk or run because I am very weak after an injury from fall. He said I could use my elliptical as well because its non weight bearing. I will try your exercises as well.

  4. Elayne

    Thank you for all the info you send about the medicines used to treat osteoporosis. I recommend your site to all my friends.x

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are welcome, Elayne. You are doing a good work by spreading the word about drug-free options for osteoporosis!

  5. anmarie

    I was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis due to prolonged use of steroids for another illness. Now I am post -surgery with 4 vertebrae fractures and bone loss in pelvic and femur. FORTEO was recommended by the endocrinologist. After reading things on this site I am very concerned that there is nothing I can do to help myself except exercise because all the medicine is dangerous.

  6. Behroze Mirza

    Hi, my latest bone scan showed declining numbers, not a difference at all, in fact worst Now my doctor is insisting to take Prolia, I am In a dilema, what to do is my question. I am scared.. hardest decision I will
    Have to make. My follow up appointment is on Nov. 1st Any Advise Vivian??? Waiting for your reply. Please and thank you. ?

  7. Joan

    Hi Vivian, I have just had the results of my dexa scan and there has been a significant improvement in my bone density,I can only put this down to avoiding the Alendrolate drug which I refused to take,and drinking only almond milk,with the occasional cappuchino.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Joan, you deserve a big *high five* and a pat on the back! Congratulations!

  8. Linda Chadwick

    Thank you for all your information. For the past year I have put myself first as far as diet and exercise. I limit alcohol to a glass of wine and have exercised regularly. As a result I have lost 10 pounds and am on track for at least 5 more pounds. Today I meet with my doctor to discuss my most recent blood tests and bone density.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      How inspiring – thank you for sharing that with the community, Linda!

  9. carla riffel

    Hi Vivian, thank you so much for all your research and wisdom. You are a constant support.
    I have increasing compression fractures in my spine but have refused forteo for several years now. I assume you are against forteo but have not seen you address it specifically. should I take it as a last resort to halt the fractures? thank you for all you do

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Carla,

      Feeling supported is an important aspect of healing and building your health and bones. 🙂 I am sorry to hear about your compression fracture! Of course, whether or not you choose to take Forteo is a personal decision; but you might like to read up on this drug first so your decision is an informed one. Here is a link to some posts to get you started in your research:

  10. Sara B.Wright

    Ive asked you several times to send me the e book and Ive never received it! What is the problem?

    • Save Institute Customer Support

      Hi Sara,

      We’re sorry you have not received your free ebook, Stop the Bone Thieves! It may have ended up in your Spam Box. Please check your Inbox within the next 24 hours. We’ll send the download link to you.

  11. Lucy Renew

    It would be helpful to have some information on what to do about possibility of jaw necrosis and eye effect of Aclasta/Reclast if one has already taken it….
    Thank you

  12. Marion

    Really enjoy these newsletters.Have started the Save our Bones programme …stopping the 14 bad things and adding supplements and exercise to build my bones.Also Alkali /Acid diet
    Have torn up the prescription for Fosalan.
    I’ll go Vivian’s route.
    Have a bone density xray booked for next June 2017. Hopefully will see a difference.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Welcome, Marion! You are starting off on the right track. I admire your courage in tearing up your prescription!

    • Betty

      Here I am in the early morning darkness waiting for the moment to take a pain pill for my body which is suffering from fractures and bulging disks in my back that occurred early this year, Due to severe osteoporosis I am at risk of more fractures. I may have come too late to the Savers nutritional approach to bone health but for the time that I did I saw no improvement in my density and was told that I had severe osteoporosis. I was also very active with exercise such as tai chi, walking etc. I have now received one injection of prolia (and yes it has some serious side affects as well) but I don’t know what else to do. I am due for another injection in Nov. There are many who will never need to worry about osteoporosis regardless of lifestyle but do heed any news that your density is suffering,

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Betty, my heart goes out to you. I know that back pain can be awful, and it has a tendency to induce a feeling of desperation. But here’s the good news: you’re here! You’ve discovered that there is an alternative to drugs and that you do in fact have a choice as to how you wish to proceed with your treatment.

        Regardless of what you decide, the Saver community is here and there is a great deal of free information on this site to inform you. It is never too late to adopt a bone-healthy diet, no matter what the test scores say!

        • Betty

          Thank you for your comments Vivian. Since my low weight is also a problem I am trying to include food rich in calories and as healty as possible. I do not eat dairy but coconut oil products, and Almond milk are very good. More often now I will eat sugary treats for calories and occasional some pie etc.

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