Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Hoping to find sound advice
    littlemart posted:
    I am a 65 year old woman with Osteoporosis. I am not treating it with any prescription meds. I've very small, have many autoimmune diseases and have read all the horror stories about meds like Prolia.

    I have a doctor friend ( retired ) who has MS, as I do, Osteoporosis and other problems. She has really been trying to get me to try Prolia. She calls me a ticking timebomb, great candidate for bone breaks. I'm not so sure.

    So, this is for people who have taken any of the meds. I've read some success stories, but there seem to be more of the failures out there. I react easily to medication and have Gastritis. Sure don't want to upset that applecart!

    Is it possible to treat this with vitamin d, calcium, magnesium etc? Is 65 too old to start treatment? Can anyone please help me make a decision here??

    This doctor friend of mine has had some very serious back and neck surgeries while she was (is) taking Prolia. In fact, I believe she has tried other prescription drugs for her osteo. But she swears her bone density has improved. She says the possible side effects of the med are much smaller than the probably effects of having osteoporosis. But I've read about so many people have so much trouble after taking just one shot. So many have quit.

    Thank you all.
    bonebabe responded:
    Hey -

    I hear your concerns and fears. To address them -

    No, 65 is not too late to start treatment.

    No, if you have osteoporosis it cannot be successfully treated with calcium, Vit D and exercise. These three things work WITH the medications to reduce your chances of fracturing.

    Of course you hear more about the horrors of medications. That's what people like to talk about. If things are going fine, That's true with any situation.

    Listen to your doctor friend. Once you fracture and your life is forever changed, there's no going back for a do-over.
    Are you willing to risk that over the possibility of side effects that may or may not be an issue?
    littlemart replied to bonebabe's response:
    Ok. I hear you too. Most of the reviews I've read about Prolia are from people who took the shot and ended up in terrible pain, broken bones, stomach issues etc. I have gastritis and I really, really don't want to make it worse.

    I have read some positive reviews too. I happen to be someone who reacts strongly to medicine. I have periodontal disease with some bone loss. So of course, the idea of a drug causing more bone loss scares me.

    I like your reply and was this close to just accepting it and calling the doctor to order the Prolia. But then, something inside just warned me... I think I will have another DEXA scan first. See where I'm at.

    Thanks so much... good advice... good information.
    bonebabe replied to littlemart's response:
    Yes, you have to do what you think is best for you with the information you have.

    A few things to know before your next DXA. Wait a full two years before having it. The reason for this is that bone is slow to respond to change, and if you're increasing your calcium, etc. you want to know for sure if it's helped.

    Go back to the same place where you had the prior one. DXAs from different places cannot be compared accurately.

    Don't judge change by the T-score. This is where it gets complicated. Change is determined by a formula that measures BMD. That formula is computed by the results of a precision study done on the DXA machine.

    A precision study entails getting 30 people on the table, doing the test, taking them off the table and repeating the test. The goal is to see how closely the test can be replicated. The results then go through a formula to determine the LSC or Lowest Significant Change. That means any BMD # greater than the LSC is considered a change in bone density. It's basically a margin of error.

    So, if your LSC is (like our 2.9 for spine and 2.8 for hip) that means that if your BMD is greater than those numbers either in gain or loss, you have a significant change.

    Many places do not do a precision study and only rely on T-score changes. This does not give you a quality test. It means the tech has most likely not been certified by the ISCD - the governing organization of all things osteoporosis.

    If I were you, I'd ask the tech if she's certified by ISCD - or she may have diploma on the wall. Also ask if they've done a precision study and what the LSC is. If she looks blankly at her, go somewhere else for your DXAs. Your results are not reliable.

    With your health issues and sensitivities, you need the most accurate data you can get.

    I'll tell you something else doctors don't want you to know...They can charge more if a DXA is performed in their office than if you went to a hospital to have it done. Also, at this time, states don't mandate that DXA technologists be certified to do the testing. Many places have honestly pulled a receptionist from the front office to run the machine a few days a week. Please don't have a test done in a place that does that! You could be taking a med you don't need based on a faulty test result or not taking a med you need based on the same result.

    I work in one of the 40 internationally accredited osteoporosis centers in the world. We have strict protocols we have to follow to insure our patients get the most reliable test results possible. We are horrified to see some tests new patients bring us from other areas.

    Best of luck to you in whatever decision you make.

    Helpful Tips

    Good luck... More
    Was this Helpful?
    2 of 3 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website