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Osteoporosis medications - bisphosphonate derivatives

Table of Contents > Depletions > Osteoporosis medications - bisphosphonate derivatives     Print

Editorial Note
Supporting Research


  • Alendronate -- Fosamax, Fosamax Plus D
  • Risedronate -- Actonel, Actonel with Calcium
  • Etidronate -- Didronel
  • Ibandronate -- Boniva
  • Pamidronate -- Aredia
  • Tiludronate -- Skelid
  • Zoledronic acid -- Reclast, Zometa



Osteoporosis (bone loss) is the primary disease associated with long-term calcium deficiency. Osteoporosis may be associated with bone pain and spinal deformity. Depleted levels of calcium can also cause muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, and depression.


Although phosphorus deficiency is rare, chronic low levels are associated with muscle weakness, bone pain, mental confusion, loss of appetite, anemia, increased susceptibility to infection, respiratory difficulties, seizures, and even death.

Editorial Note

The information presented here covers some of the nutrients that may be affected when you take certain medications. If you have the signs and symptoms listed, it doesn't always mean you have low levels of these nutrients. Many things affect the level of nutrients, including your medical history, diet, and lifestyle, as well as how long you have been taking the medication. Please talk with your health care provider. He or she can best address your health care needs and determine whether you are at risk for low levels of any nutrients.

Supporting Research

Basu N, Reid DM. Bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw. Menopause Int. 2007;13(2):56-9.

Cashman KD. Diet, nutrition, and bone health. J Nutr. 2007;137(11):2507S-12S.

Jara A, Lee E, Stauber D, Moatamed F, Felsenfeld AJ, Kleeman CR. Phosphate depletion in the rat: effect of bisphosphonates and the calcemic response to PTH. Kidney Int. 1999;55(4):1434-43.

Ondrak KS, Morgan DW. Physical activity, calcium intake and bone health in children and adolescents. Sports Med. 2007;37(7):587-600.

Palacios C. The role of nutrients in bone health, from A to Z. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2006;46(8):621-8.

Sheweita SA, Khoshhal KI. Calcium metabolism and oxidative stress in bone fractures: role of antioxidants. Curr Drug Metab. 2007;8(5):519-25.

Review Date: 9/21/2014
Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed HealthCare Network. Also reviewed by the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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