Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Osteoporosis Health Center

Font Size

Osteoporosis Drug Could Change Treatment: Study

Early results indicate romosozumab can rebuild bone

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new medication for osteoporosis prompts the body to rebuild bone and could potentially strengthen the skeleton against fractures, researchers report.

The experimental drug, romosozumab, frees the body's ability to stimulate bone production by blocking biochemical signals that naturally inhibit bone formation, explained Dr. Michael McClung, founding director of the Oregon Osteoporosis Center in Portland, Ore.

The treatment is one-and-a-half to three times more effective than current osteoporosis drugs in rebuilding bone density at the lumbar spine, according to clinical trial results McClung and his colleagues reported in the Jan.1 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Most osteoporosis drugs work by stopping the progression of bone loss, but they don't have the capability of rebuilding the skeleton," McClung said. "This really is a new day in the consideration of how we treat osteoporosis, with the capability of truly stimulating bone production and rebuilding the skeleton, not simply keeping it from getting worse."

More research is needed, however, before romosozumab is approved to treat osteoporosis, a serious bone-thinning disease, in the United States.

The new drug uses an antibody to block the function of sclerostin, a protein the body produces to naturally inhibit bone growth.

Without sclerostin, overactive bone growth might clamp off nerves or end up fusing the spinal column, said Dr. Robert Recker, president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and director of the Osteoporosis Research Center at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

But sclerostin also prevents people with osteoporosis from building additional bone density to replace the bone that has been lost.

The antibody romosozumab binds to sclerostin and prevents its signal, which allows pro-bone-growth signals to proceed uninterrupted, the researchers explained.

This phase 2 clinical trial involved more than 400 postmenopausal women aged 55 to 85 who had osteopenia, which is low bone mass that is not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. They were randomly assigned to receive one of four treatments for a year: romosozumab; a placebo; or one of two current osteoporosis medications.

Today on WebMD

Women working out and walking with weights
Reduce bone loss and build stronger muscles.
Chinese cabbage
Calcium-rich foods to add to your diet.
woman stretching
Get the facts on osteoporosis.
Porous bone
Causes, symptoms, risk factors, and treatment.
senior woman
Woman holding plate of brocolli
wrist xray
Superfood for Bones
mature woman
sunlight in hands
man and woman in front of xray
woman with dumbbells