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Osteoporosis Treatment Options

If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, your primary care physician may help manage the disease and treatment plan. In other cases, you may be referred to an endocrinologist or rheumatologist, both are experts in osteoporosis.

Exercise, medications, dietary supplements, and changes to diet and lifestyle can help minimize the effects of the disease. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Exercise – Weight-bearing activities and exercises to improve balance and posture are important.
  • Good nutrition – Eat a healthy diet and get enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Quit smoking – It speeds up bone loss.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Medications – They can slow bone loss or increase growth.
  • Extensive education – Learn about the disease.
  • Additional testing – Bone density testing and lab work may be needed.

Osteoporosis Medications

Healthy bones break down and rebuild throughout your life. As you age, especially once menopause happens, the bone breaks down quicker, and rebuilding can’t keep up. Osteoporosis medications can slow or prevent the breakdown of bone or can increase rebuilding, thereby strengthening bones and reducing fractures.

Some medications work well at preventing bone breakdown and stabilizing and increasing bone density. These include bisphosphonates and other medications: 

  • Alendronate (Fosamax) – pill, daily, weekly or monthly
  • Ibandronate (Boniva) – pill, monthly; infusion, every three months
  • Risedronate (Actonel) – pill, daily, weekly or monthly
  • Zoledronic (Reclast) – infusion, annually or less frequently
  • Denosumab (Prolia) – injection, twice a year
  • Raloxifene (Evista) – pill, daily

Some medications work well at increasing bone density and bone quality. These include:

  • Abaloparatide (Tymlos) – injection, daily
  • Teriparatide (Forteo) – injection, daily
  • Romosozumab (Evenity) – injection, monthly

Which medicine may be the right choice will depend on risk factors and risk of future fracture. Information on side effects and the pros and cons of taking osteoporosis medications can be discussed with your provider.