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Young People Get Osteoporosis Too 

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DISCLAIMER:

Please be advised that the inclusion of any medication on this site is not indicative of an endorsement.  I do not have any affiliation with the pharmaceutical corporations that manufacture prescription osteoporosis medications.  I am not a doctor, therefore I am not medically qualified to counsel or advise osteoporosis patients about which medication is best suited for their individual case.

 My mission for this page is to present you with all of the facts to assist you in making an informed decision. Deciding which treatment method that you would like to pursue, is a decision that only you should make.  Keep in mind  that we are individuals who respond differently to different forms of treatment, so don't base your decision solely on how someone else happened to respond to a medication.

Click on the following for details about each individual osteoporosis medication

• actonel • aredia • boniva • didronel • evista • Forteo • fosamax • miacalcin • zometa • vivelle • reclast •

The goals of  osteoporosis medications used in the management of osteoporosis are:

1. prevent a first fragility fracture, or future fractures if one has already occurred, by:
    a. stabilizing or increasing bone mass
    b. preventing falls
    c. improve mobility and functional status
    d. adjust the environment to decrease risk of accidents
2. relieve symptoms of fractures and/or skeletal deformities

.
National Osteoporosis Foundation's guidelines recommend that the following people should take or consider bisphosphonates:

  • Women with a below-normal bone density of 2.5 SD or greater and who have no history of fractures should take bisphosphonates.
     
  • Women with below-normal bone density 1 SD or more and have a history of fractures should consider bisphosphonates.

Finding the medication that's right for you
You and your physician need to review the drug treatment options, assessing the risks and benefits each offers and choosing the best treatment for you, based on current scientific evidence. You may also need to explore several treatment options, because each person is different. Some people respond better to one drug than another. Some people have side effects on one and not another. No matter what drug therapy you choose, remember that a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is required to maintain healthy bones.

Medication and it's use for osteoporosis Benefits Drawbacks
HRT

used for prevention and treatment in postmenopausal women

improves bone density and reduces fractures.  Alleviates menopausal symptoms, slightly reduces risk of colon cancer increased risk of blood clots; slightly increased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular problems, including pulmonary embolisms, heart attacks, and strokes.  May cause breakthrough bleeding, water retention, and other minor side effects
ERT

used for prevention and treatment in post-menopausal women whose uterus has been removed

improves bone density and reduces fractures, alleviates menopausal symptoms increased risk of blood clots; slightly increased risk of breast cancer.  May cause breakthrough bleeding, water retention, and other minor problems.  Research is underway to determine if ERT increases heart disease, as HRT does
Bisphosphonates

Fosamax

Actonel

Boniva

improves bone density and reduces fractures as effectively as HRT/ERT Bisphosphonates can cause gastrointestinal problems.  Minimize by following careful morning routine
Evista improves bone density and reduces fractures, but not quite as well as bisphosphonates or HRT/ERT. Also significantly reduces risk of breast cancer, can reduce cholesterol slightly Increased risk of blood clots. Can cause hot flashes, swelling of the arms and legs.
Forteo  

stimulates new bone formation and increased bone density to a greater degree than all other medications.  Reduces fracture risk.   Recommended for men and postmenopausal women who are at greatest risk for fractures due to osteoporosis.

must be taken daily self-administered injections.  Side effects include nausea, leg cramps, and dizziness. Long-term safety still unclear
 

Calcitonin

Miacalcin

Calcimar

improves bone density in the hip and especially in the spine, but not as effectively as HRT/ERT, bisphosponates, or evista.  Relieves pain of recent spinal fractures can cause facial flushing and gastrointestinal distress
 

Zometa

Reclast

Aclasta

 

the first and only once yearly treatment for osteoporosis, Shown to be highly effective in strengthening bones and protecting against osteoporosis-related fractures, including spine and hip
 
An infrequent but significant side effect associated with zoledronic acid in the clinical trial was an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm

 

Nelson, Miriam E. and Wernick, Sarah (2006).  " Strong Women, Strong Bones: everything you need to know to prevent, treat and beat osteoporosis" pp 240-241

 

 

Young People Get Osteoporosis Too Organization
Copyright 2001  All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/19/07.