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Knowing and Treating Osteoporosis

What Are the Treatments for Osteoporosis? continued...

In women who have been on menopausal hormone therapy in the past and then stop it, the bone begins to thin again -- at the same pace as during menopause.

Other osteoporosis treatments include:

  • Evista is a drug that has some actions similar to estrogen, such as the ability to maintain bone mass. However, studies have shown that it doesn't increase the risk of breast or uterine cancers as estrogen does. Evista can cause blood clots and often increases hot flashes.
  • Actonel, Binosto, Boniva, and Fosamaxtreat osteoporosis by inhibiting cells that break down bone. There are strict ways to take these medications, because if taken incorrectly, they can lead to ulcers in the esophagus.
  • Reclast, which is given as a once-yearly 15-minute infusion in a vein, is said to increase bone strength and reduce fractures in the hip, spine and wrist, arm, leg, or rib.
  • Forteo is a drug used for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men who are at high risk for a fracture. A synthetic form of the naturally occurring parathyroid hormone, Forteo is the first drug shown to stimulate new bone formation and increase bone mineral density. It is self-administered as a daily injection for up to 24 months. Side effects include nausea, leg cramps, and dizziness.
  • Prolia is a monoclonal antibody -- a fully human, lab-produced antibody that inactivates the body's bone-breakdown mechanism. It's the first "biologic therapy" to be approved for osteoporosis treatment. Prolia, a twice-a-year injection, is approved for postmenopausal women at a high risk of fracture when other osteoporosis drugs have not worked.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on April 15, 2015
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