pros and cons of reclast

I have been recently diagnosed with osteoporosis showing up in my hips as well as mild arthritis with bone spurs in my hips. I'm in my fifties. Prior to that I was going through menopause and they thought I was hypo thyroid and put me on low dose of medicine Armour ( I couldn't tolerate synthroid) and now my numbers balanced out and now I'm not on any medicines. But the endocrinologist wants to start reclast IV because I have elevated C-telopeptide. I have had past years with ulcerlative colitis but now that has resolved for many years and want to keep it that way. I would like someone who has taken this medication or knows about it to give me some reasons to maybe try it or not. I also have a mitral valve prolapse...and i see one of the side affects can affect your heart rhythm, etc. I feel healthy besides some problem with stability in one hip but am increasing the exercise program. I just don't want to make hip bone spurs and arthritis worse> Any comments about this drug use? Thanks

Report post

8 replies. Join the discussion

The absolute last thing you want to do if you already have bone spurs in your hips is take Reclast, take my word for it!

I had a dose of Reclast about three months ago. Right away, I started suffering terribly. I couldn't sleep at night, my bones ached terribly. Then I started noticing nodules on my feet, my hands, my shoulder, my hips, my ribs - heck, everywhere, even one on my eyebrow. I went to see my doctor because I couldn't sleep and I couldn't hardly sit. I weigh right at 101 lbs. and don't have much fat on my bones anyway. He x-rayed my hips and my back and found that I have developed bone spurs in my hips and the discs in my back have completely collapsed at four levels in that amount of time. He's pretty sure that I have the bone spurs all over. I went to see my bone surgeon this week and he's going to look at my x-rays next week to evaluate me for a possible hip replacement due to the damage done on the right hip. Please avoid the Reclast at all cost! I don't want you to have to go through what I'm going through, even if it could be a small chance. With you already having osteoblasts, I would think your risk factor would be slightly higher.

I would suggest asking Dr. Lani on this site what her opinion would be. She is a wonderful resource and I would value her opinion.

Best of luck to you!



Report post

for me reclast was terrible! so sorry i ever took it, though i seem ok now. had a lot of bone pain started several weeks after the infusion, had to sit on pillows as backs of thighs and hips so painful, and just felt very unwell for a long time.....but some people seem to do well with it, i will never recommend it to anyone ! it's 2 1/2 years since i took it and i was ok a year after the infusion, and, by the way ,my bone density results are much worse.!

Report post


There is a lot of misinformation out there about bisphosphonates, especially Reclast. Discussion boards are great ways to share information, but it is also important to remember that one person's experience may be an anomaly.

There are plenty of data about bisphosponates. Bisphosponates do NOT worsen bone spurs. In fact, bisphosphonates may even help to IMPROVE bone spurs (see the 2008 article by Dr. Kenneth G Saag in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases). Bisphosponates stop bone remodeling—the process that leads to spur formation. Bisphosphonates are being studied for the direct treatment of osteoarthritis itself, although there is not enough proof of this yet.

Reclast is probably the most effective bisphosponate. Unless you are completely needle-phobic, it's also the easiest because you only need it once a year and it doesn't have all the GI side effects of the orals (Boniva, Actonel, alendronate). Other than that, they all work the same way. Of course, only your doctor can tell you if Reclast is right for you. If your endocrinologist feels it is an appropriate choice of therapy for you, he or she is probably right.

I repect CubbieFan2308's comments and sympathize with her unfortunate health issues, but just because she developed bone spurs after taking Reclast does NOT mean that Reclast caused them. As I mention above, drugs like Reclast should, if anything, help to IMPROVE bone spurs. In addition, In Reclast's main clinical trial of 8,000 women treated for 3 years or more, there was not a single case of bone spurs caused by Reclast.

Report post

I thank you for all your comments. I'm still hoping there are some things I can do so I don't have to take meds for osteoporosis. The doctor said I have to make the decision soon like in 4 months and that was 5 months ago. Is there a time frame that biophosphonates don't work? And what type of calcium is best to take? Calcium carbonate or citrate? Is a nutritionist something I should be looking into to get someone to help sort out what diet and if I have any deficiencies. And since so much misinformation is out there and comments of people like you stating you had a bad experience doesn't make me feel to comfortable to believe it is the right choice. I feel I'm playing Russian roulete with my health.
I'm very flustered about it. I'm sorry that you are in such pain it is not the way anyone wants to live out there life.

Report post

I've been taking calcium for the past 25 years, encouraged to do so by the many doctors I've seen over that time. I have a new PCP now who seems very up-to-date on both old and new approaches to meds. For the first time, I was asked if I take calcium carbonate or citrate and I actually didn't know. Had to go home to find out! Turns out that it's been carbonate which my doctor says to NOT take. He insists on citrate (for better absorption by the body). So, I discarded two whole brand-new bottles and changed to citrate. Of course, I don't feel the difference, but thought I'd share that with you.

Report post

Whether you take a bisphosphonate or not, calcium (and vitamin D) are essential: you can’t build bones without the raw materials!

Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are basically the same, and both will work fine. However, some data has shown that calcium citrate is better absorbed in the stomach and less likely to cause constipation, so like carolgb says you might as well go for the citrate.

You should be getting 1200 mg of calcium per day, as well as 800 to 1000 IU of vitamin D. This includes calcium from foods and supplements. If you don’t eat foods containing 1200 mg of calcium per day, then a supplement is a good idea.

One important thing to note...there are some “super supplements” out there with more than 500 mg of calcium. The body can’t really absorb more than 500 mg at a time, so if you take more than that then the extra just passes through you anyway—so don’t. If you need to take more than 500 mg in supplements per day, you should divide the dose; for example, take 500 mg in the morning and another 500 mg in the evening rather than taking 1000 mg at once.

Report post

Thanks that is true about the absorption. I always forget to take calcium on a consistent basis so I end up taking more at one meal. My doctor told me to take at least 1800 mg Ca and at least 1000 mg of vit D. I wish there was a way to see if you are actually absorbing what you are taking. thanks for you comments

Report post

DHT is way off base in my instance. I had x-rays before I started Reclast and then two months later after I had constant pain after the Reclast, I had repeat x-rays. The only difference was the Reclast. It definitely was the cause of my bone spurs. There was no bone spurs on my joints before. I don't know if he is a physician or not, but he cannot know everyone's conditions and Reclast DID cause my spurs! It has been verified by my orthopod and Iowa City's bone department. Need I say more?

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support NOF

Help the National Osteoporosis Foundation reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the National Osteoporosis Foundation

Learn more about osteoporosis awareness and prevention

Discussion topics

Links and resources from NOF

Community leaders


The National Osteoporosis Foundation would like to remind visitors and community members that the views and opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of NOF. Please consult your personal healthcare provider regarding any medical information that is shared on this site.