As with so many other prescription medications, Boniva, so often prescribed for people who need additional bone density, uses lactose as its primary filler. That can create a problem, as in this questioner to The People's Pharmacy in the Los Angeles Times.
Q. I am 62 years old and just had my second bone-density test. I was told I have osteopenia and should take Boniva.
I have been lactose-intolerant, so I avoid dairy products. I have tried calcium, but it makes me constipated. I took Actonel but developed leg cramps. I took one Boniva tablet the nurse gave me as a sample, but I now have unbearable indigestion. Is there anything natural I can take?
A. Osteopenia is a controversial condition. The concept of pre-osteoporosis was created somewhat arbitrarily in 1992 for research purposes rather than to guide treatment. Extra vitamin D (2,000 to 4,000 IUs daily), exercise and lots of fruits and vegetables can help. There are also other medicines.