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Can estrogen help treat osteoporosis?

ANSWER

The hormone estrogen can help with osteoporosis in women who have been through menopause, but it also has serious side effects, such as:

Because of this, the FDA suggests taking only the smallest dose for the shortest possible time and only if you’re highly likely to get fractures.

  • Blood clots
  • Breast cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Heart disease

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Osteoporosis,” “Osteoporosis: Medications Can Help,” “Denosumab (Subcutaneous Route).”

National Osteoporosis Foundation: “Treatment,” “Denosumab (Prolia),” “Teriparatide Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) (1-34) (Forteo ),” “Calcitonin-Salmon (Fortical and Miacalcin ).” ®®®

NIH SeniorHealth: “Osteoporosis.”

American College of Rheumatology: “Osteoporosis.”

National Osteoporosis Society (UK): “Drug Treatments for Osteoporosis: denosumab (Prolia).”

FDA: “Questions and Answers: Changes to the Indicated Population for Miacalcin (calcitonin-salmon).”

UpToDate: "Postmenopausal hormone therapy in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis;" "Overview of the management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women;" "Denosumab drug information;" "Alendronate drug information; and "Calcitonin drug information." 

Medline Plus: "Calcitonin Salmon Injection."

Reviewed by David Zelman on May 28, 2019

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Osteoporosis,” “Osteoporosis: Medications Can Help,” “Denosumab (Subcutaneous Route).”

National Osteoporosis Foundation: “Treatment,” “Denosumab (Prolia),” “Teriparatide Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) (1-34) (Forteo ),” “Calcitonin-Salmon (Fortical and Miacalcin ).” ®®®

NIH SeniorHealth: “Osteoporosis.”

American College of Rheumatology: “Osteoporosis.”

National Osteoporosis Society (UK): “Drug Treatments for Osteoporosis: denosumab (Prolia).”

FDA: “Questions and Answers: Changes to the Indicated Population for Miacalcin (calcitonin-salmon).”

UpToDate: "Postmenopausal hormone therapy in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis;" "Overview of the management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women;" "Denosumab drug information;" "Alendronate drug information; and "Calcitonin drug information." 

Medline Plus: "Calcitonin Salmon Injection."

Reviewed by David Zelman on May 28, 2019

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