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FIND OUT YOUR FRACTURE RISK. If you are at high risk for a fracture, then these days, taking a bisphosphonate is one of the best way to reduce the risk. You can learn your fracture risk at www.americanbonehealth.org. If you are taking a bone drug, remember that your risk is reduced by about one third to one half. If you are at low or moderate risk, taking a bisphosphonate may not be a good idea. There may be little benefit versus the possible harm. If you are at low or moderate risk, there are still important other prevention strategies to keep your bones strong.
BE ALERT TO SIGNS OF A PROBLEM. Many patients who have had mid-thigh fractures report a deep, aching pain in the middle of the thigh several weeks to months before that bone breaks. This ache is not joint pain and not related to activity. If you are taking a bisphosphonate drug and have an aching pain in your mid-thigh, talk to your doctor.
DISCUSS DOSE AND DRUG HOLIDAYS. Bisphosphonate drugs work relatively quickly and patients can see benefits within a few years. When you see your doctor, discuss your dose and how long you should take the drug. Depending on your situation, your doctor may consider a “drug holiday” after a few years and then monitor your progress to see if your bone density remains stable without the drug.
Learn your fracture risk at www.americanbonehealth.org. This information will help you and your doctor determine whether or not you should be on a treatment that will help prevent fractures.