You’ve just found out you have bone loss. You’ve had a DXA scan, and your physician says you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, based on your DXA score. What should you do next? You’re trying to figure out what’s the best course of action and how to remain calm, which is hard to do since you’re probably very shocked that you even have this type of medical problem. You may be one who’s always eaten right, exercised, taken vitamins and minerals, or maybe you haven’t been as diligent in preventing bone loss as you should have. In either case, you’re at a cross road that requires many decisions and self-education on this topic.
Since the majority of questions that we get here at OsteoporosisConnection.com, are about treatment decisions, I thought we’d help you out with a list of all the currently prescribed osteoporosis medications.
You’ll also need to have a rudimentary understanding of all the different drug families, their names and what they do. The following is a list of these optional treatments, how often they are taken and what type of drug they are.
Let’s first start by explaining the various drug families used for treating bone loss.
Antiresorptive is a medication that slows the resorption of bone. In other words it slows
down bone loss.
- Bisphosphonates (oral and infused)
- SERMs (selective estrogen receptor modulators)
- HRT (Hormone Replacement Treatment)
- Calcitonin (salmon calcitonin)
- Fosteum (medicinal food)
- Strontium Ranelate (approved in the European Union only)
These drugs build new bone.
Biologics slows the production of bone-removing cells before bone loss occurs.
Osteoporosis Medications Chart
After your diagnosis you can use this chart to make treatment decisions. If you are looking for a weekly, monthly, annual, semi-annual, oral or infused treatment, you’ll be able to quickly scan the chart to see what is available.
Be sure to discuss all treatment options with your doctor, so you’ll know that you are getting the best treatment for you, given your current medical history.
See the recent warning on all bisphosphonates and atypical fractures from the FDA and the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research.
Pam wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Osteoporosis.