Osteoporosis Drugs

Estrogen Therapy and Hormone Therapy
Estrogen therapy (ET) and hormone therapy (HT) have been shown to reduce bone loss, increase bone density in both the spine and hip, and reduce the risk of hip and spine fractures in postmenopausal women. ET and HT are approved for preventing postmenopausal osteoporosis and are most commonly administered in the form of a tablet or skin patch.
 
Taking estrogen alone increases a woman's risk of developing cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer). To reduce this risk, women who still have a uterus (who have not had a hysterectomy) should usually take a progestin in combination with estrogen (this is known as hormone therapy or HT).
 
Any estrogen therapy or hormone therapy should be prescribed for the shortest amount of time possible. When used solely for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, any ET or HT regimen should only be considered for women who have a significant risk of osteoporosis, and nonestrogen osteoporosis drugs should be carefully considered first.
 
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) are drugs that act like estrogen at some receptors, but act like an anti-estrogen at others. It acts like estrogen for preventing bone loss and improving cholesterol, but acts like an anti-estrogen for treating breast cancer or uterine cancer. Currently, there is only one SERM that is approved to prevent and treat osteoporosis -- raloxifene (Evista®).
 
Calcitonin Analogues
Calcitonin is a naturally occurring hormone that affects the bones. Calcitonin analogues (which are manufactured versions of calcitonin) can be useful for treating osteoporosis by slowing the breakdown of bone. Because calcitonin is a delicate molecule that would be destroyed by the digestive tract, it must be taken by nasal spray or by injection. Currently, calcitonin analogues approved to treat osteoporosis include calcitonin salmon nasal spray (Miacalcin® Nasal Spray, Fortical®) and calcitonin salmon injection (Miacalcin® Injection).
Calcium and Strong Bones

Medication for Osteoporosis

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