Fosamax and Alcohol

by on May 14, 2012

Studies suggest taking alcohol together with Fosamax (Alendronate) would not lead to serious interactions. However, your healthcare provider may recommend that you avoid eating or drinking anything, including, alcohol for at least 30 minutes after taking Fosamax. The absorption of Fosamax in the stomach can be easily affected by other substances so it is important to take it on an empty stomach, preferably, first thing in the morning.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Although alcohol is not contraindicated to patients taking Fosamax, your healthcare provider may advise you to reduce alcohol intake. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol (more than 2 or 3 drinks a day) on a regular basis increases the risk of developing osteoporosis which can lead to fractures. This risk is more pronounced in patients who are taking Fosamax for the treatment of osteoporosis.

Some healthcare providers may even recommend completely avoiding alcohol and other alcoholic beverages, especially in patients with severe cases of osteoporosis. This is because of the multiple effects of alcohol on calcium. Take note that, most patients using Fosamax  (Alendronate) take calcium as part of their treatment program hence avoiding alcohol is recommended.

Alcohol and Osteoporosis

Alcohol is a significant risk factor in the development of osteoporosis. It can cause osteoporosis in a myriad of ways.

First off, drinking too much alcohol – 2 to 3 ounces a day – affects the absorption of calcium in the stomach. It also affects the liver which metabolizes alcohol. Take note that most patients taking Fosamax are also prescribed with calcium supplements as part of the total treatment plan. This is because calcium plays a significant role in the development of bones.

Alcohol also affects the release of hormones which are essential to bone health. According to some studies, alcohol tends to reduce estrogen which can result in irregular periods. The decrease in estrogen levels leads to slow down in bone remodeling and, subsequently, bone loss. Patients with osteoporosis due to menopause are at increased risk for bone loss due to excessive alcohol intake.

Drinking too much alcohol can also increase cortisol and parathyroid hormone. Both of these hormones are considered bone-damaging as they tend to increase bone breakdown.

Lastly, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol kills osteoblasts, the precursor cells necessary for bone growth and development. To compound these unhealthy effects of alcohol in your bone health, nutritional deficiencies as a result of heavy drinking can lead to further complications. And prolonged intake of alcohol can likely affect balance, thereby increasing the risk for falls – a significant safety issue in patients being treated for bone deficiencies, particularly osteoporosis.

To help hasten your recovery period, regardless of your medical condition, it is recommended that you avoid alcohol. Avoiding alcohol ensures strong and healthy bones.