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Osteoporosis Drug, Vitamin D Now in 1 Pill

<P>Fosamax Plus D Helps Prevent and Treat Osteoporosis</P>

WebMD Health News

April 11, 2005 - The FDA has approved Fosamax Plus D, a once-weekly pill that contains both the osteoporosisosteoporosis drug Fosamax and the bone-building nutrient vitamin D.

The pill has 70 milligrams of Fosamax and a 2,800 IU dose of Vitamin D. That's seven day's worth of the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D for people aged 51 to 70.

Fosamax is taken both to treat osteoporosis as well as to prevent the disease. People with osteoporosis are more likely to fracture a bone, especially the hip, spine, and wrist. Hip and spine fractures can be very debilitating. Fosamax helps reduce the risk of hip and spine fractures.

Don't Just Rely on a Pill

But people shouldn't rely on medications alone to help build stronger bones. Even when taking this medication people need to get enough of the bone-building nutrients calcium and vitamin D. Calcium helps build stronger bones while vitamin D helps increase absorption of calcium from the intestines into the bloodstream. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, regular exercise helps prevent osteoporosis.

While there are other drugs available of the same type, such as Actonel, Fosamax is now the only one that also contains vitamin D. Fosamax Plus D and similar osteoporosis drugs should be used with caution in people with certain stomach or digestive problems.

Men Aren't Left Out

Osteoporosis is much more common in women than in men. They are four times more likely then men to develop the condition.

While bone loss can start even in a woman in her 30s, it speeds up significantly after menopause. It often progresses without any symptoms or pain. Many times, osteoporosis is not discovered until weakened bones cause painful fractures.

Osteoporosis affects an estimated 10 million Americans -- 8 million women and 2 million men -- according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. An additional 34 million have low bone mass, which increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

A bone density test can check for osteoporosis and help determine the risk of having a bone fracture. Use this tool to help determine your risk of osteoporosis.your risk of osteoporosis.

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