Emerging anabolic treatments in osteoporosis.Most people with osteoporosis will need some form of prescription medication. If anabolic drugs for osteoporosis have an osteoporosis-related fracture, you will need a medication anabolic drugs for osteoporosis help your bones recover and to prevent future fractures. If you've learned you have low bone density but don't have a fracture, you may take a medication to help prevent fractures and further bone loss. The FDA has ostteoporosis many medications specifically for osteoporosis. They fall into two groups—antiresorptives and anabolics.
A review of anabolic therapies for osteoporosis
Most people with osteoporosis will need some form of prescription medication. If you have an osteoporosis-related fracture, you will need a medication to help your bones recover and to prevent future fractures.
If you've learned you have low bone density but don't have a fracture, you may take a medication to help prevent fractures and further bone loss.
The FDA has approved many medications specifically for osteoporosis. They fall into two groups—antiresorptives and anabolics. Antiresorptives Antiresorptives limit bone loss by decreasing the rate of absorption by osteoclasts, which are cells that absorb bone. By reducing how quickly osteoclasts work, antiresorptives may prevent further loss of bone mass. Bisphosphonates Bisphosphonates increase your bone mineral density by slowing down the rate at which your osteoclasts absorb bone.
Therefore, they help prevent wrist, spine, hip, and other bone fractures. You may also experience abdominal, bone, joint, and muscle pain—regardless if your medication is in pill or IV form. Calcitonin Calcitonin is a hormone naturally produced in the thyroid. When given to patients with osteoporosis, calcitonin produces modest increases in bone mass because it slows the rate at which osteoclasts absorb bone.
Only women who are at least five years past menopause can take calcitonin. Patients with severe osteoporosis seem to do the best with this drug. Calcitonin can be taken via injection or nasal spray, where it is quickly absorbed into the blood stream.
To learn more about antiresorptives, read our article about calcitonin and bisphosphonates. Estrogen or hormone replacement therapy When women reach menopause, levels of the sex hormone estrogen drop.
This has a direct effect on women's bones because estrogen helps protect bones. A lack of estrogen means that women's bones will likely weaken and may become vulnerable to fracture.
Only post-menopausal women can use estrogen therapy ET and estrogen with progesterone hormone therapy HT. These FDA-approved treatments are available under a variety of brand names and may decrease your chances of getting an osteoporosis-related fracture by increasing your bone mineral density. ET and HT help protect your bones, but the treatments may heighten the risk of breast cancer, strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots.
This has led many doctors to suggest that their patients try other medications before these therapies. If you do take ET or HT, you will likely take the lowest dose for a short period of time. To learn more, read our article about osteoporosis and estrogen replacement therapy. They provide the same benefits as estrogen therapy but without many of the dangerous side effects. But that doesn't mean they're flawless. Possible side effects include blood clots, hot flashes, and leg cramps.
Biologics In , the FDA approved denosumab to treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women who are at high risk for fractures. If osteoporosis has lead to a broken bone or if you have multiple risk factors for fracture, your doctor may recommend that you try this osteoporosis medication.
RANKL is involved in the process of breaking down bones bone resorption , so if it is blocked, bones can't be broken down as quickly. Denosumab is taken as an injection, generally every 6 months. Your doctor or another healthcare professional will administer the injection. Anabolics Anabolics, the second group of osteoporosis medications, promote rapid bone formation. Teriparatide is a synthetic form of parathyroid hormone and is the only FDA-approved anabolic.
Both men and women can take teriparatide, which is administered in a daily injection. The drug promotes bone growth and increases bone density, which will reduce your risk of fracture. Teriparatide is connected to a rare form of bone cancer when given in high doses, so it is approved for use of no more than two years.
There are many approved prescription drugs available to treat and prevent osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about what medication will best help you. Written by Pauline M. Mayo Clinic Osteoporosis Treatments and drugs page. Mayo Clinic Health Information Web site. Accessed April 28, You May Also Like:. Diabetes Guide for Older People The risk for diabetes increases with age, making diabetes common in older adults.
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