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Medicines, Osteoporosis, and Fractures

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Many medicines seem to be related to bone fractures or to bone thinning (osteoporosis) that can lead to fractures. These medicines include:

  • Corticosteroid medicines. These are used to treat conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If you use them for 6 months or longer, they can lead to steroid-induced osteoporosis.
  • Thyroid replacement medicine, if the dose is more than the body needs. This should be monitored by checking the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) at least every year.
  • Antiseizure medicines. Examples are carbamazepine and phenytoin.
  • Medicines used to treat endometriosis. They include leuprolide (Lupron) and nafarelin (Synarel).
  • Aromatase inhibitors. These are used to treat breast cancer.
  • Hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer.
  • Some antidepressant medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs are used to treat many conditions, including depression, fibromyalgia, and premenstrual syndrome.
  • Heparin, if used for a long time. Heparin is a blood thinner.
  • Depo-Provera, if used for a long time. It's a birth control medicine given in a shot.
  • Antacids that contain aluminum, if they are overused. These kinds of antacids remove calcium from your body.
  • Some diabetes medicines. Examples are pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia).
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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