Caroline Foran likes to say she is 74 years young. 


“I’m a walker. That’s my main exercise, walking. During the summer time I do some swimming.”  But, living with scoliosis for years, Caroline knew that she might be at risk for developing osteoporosis-- so she decided to participate in the Boniva clinical trial.  


“In the case of Boniva, it’s once a month dosing, so this makes it much more convenient for patients to take,” says Dr. Marjorie Luckey of the St. Barnabas Osteo and Metabolic Bone Disease Center.


Boniva, recently approved by the FDA, helps maintain and actually builds bone density. It’s the first-ever oral treatment administered as one tablet once a month for any chronic disease.    It belongs to a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates.  “They specifically target the bone, they are absorbed by the body and they go directly to the bone where they stay in the bone for periods of time and continue to work even though you aren’t taking them several times a day,” explains Dr. Luckey.


Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and are more likely to break.  If not prevented or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks.  These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine and wrist.


Medical experts say that Boniva is a great addition to their arsenal to fight the disease.  “It’s approved for both treatment and prevention.  So, it’s approved for patients who are at high risk for developing more severe osteoporosis and fracture,” says Dr. Luckey.


Caroline is happy to have participated in the trial and is confident that Boniva is protecting her bones.  “It helps and it keeps you from deteriorating further.”


Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are steps you can take to prevent it or to slow or stop its progress. The National Osteoporosis Foundation says that adequate calcium, vitamin D and exercise are all great ways to protect your self.  However, you should always consult with your physician before taking any vitamins or beginning an exercise regimen.