- When treating osteoporosis, it is more common to be prescribed bisphosphonates such as Ibandronate (Boniva), Zoledronic acid (Reclast), Rosisedronate (Actonel) and Alendronate (Fosamax).
- You can also be treated with hormones such as raloxifine (Evista) which are used to prevent and treat osteoporosis.
- If you suffer from reduced kidney functions, you may be prescribed denosumab (Prolia, Xgeva) can limit the risks of fractures caused by osteoporosis. They can be taken by people who can’t take bisphosphonates.
- For those who have low bone density such as men or menopausal women, you might be prescribed teriparatide (Forteo). This medication is used when an osteoporosis is caused by steroid medication or when someone has had fractures because of osteoporosis.
- You could also be given abaloparatide (Tymlos) which also has the potential to rebuild bone and is just as effective as teriparatide.
How the Medication Works
Bisphosphonate medications are used to slow bone break down where healthy bone can break down and rebuild. It’s often found that as you get older, especially after menopause, your bones break down faster and bone rebuilding cannot keep up, so your bones become much weaker and deteriorate. The medication puts a hold on this process and maintains bone density to decrease the chance of breaking bones.
The other medications like denosumab, teriparatide and abaloparatide are used in more extraneous circumstances such as very low bone density, multiple fractures, steroid use and developing osteoporosis at a young age. They are injected so may also be given to those who can’t take drugs orally. Drugs can also be given through intravenous (IV) forms including zoledronic acid and ibandronate could also be an option.
Bisphosphonates can give some side effects, especially as they are one of the more difficult drugs to be absorbed into the stomach. Due to this you might find you develop stomach pains and upset. It’s recommended to take the drug with a big glass of water with an empty stomach. Try not to lie down, bend over, or eat for thirty to sixty minutes. This is a good way to avoid the side effects.
Things to do at Home
It’s important to not rely completely on medication and to take some step to help your health yourself.
- Nutrition — make sure to eat a calcium and vitamin D rich diet and try to eat as healthily as possible for both health and bone strength.
- Exercise — as you age it’s important to continue exercising as it makes it less likely for you to fall and break a bone. Exercises that improve posture, balance and weight-baring, can help to strengthen bones and greatly reduces the risk of fracturing a bone.
- Limit alcohol — drink in moderation and try not to go over your limit.
- Quit smoking — if you smoke, it could be speeding up the loss of bone.