Best Medications for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is defined by bone loss and weakness which can lead to increased risk of fractures. This article aims to elaborate on the clinically legitimate medicinal treatments and best medications for osteoporosis in both men and women.

Best Medications for Osteoporosis

Best Medications for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis largely affects the elderly and doesn’t present any symptoms; till a bone is broken and osteoporosis is diagnosed. Decreased levels of estrogen after menopause make women more susceptible to early onset osteoporosis and while there is no immediate cure for this disease various medications are prescribed to stall bone loss and weakness and increase bone health. Here, we look at some of the best medications for osteoporosis.

However, before that, let us look at the way the best medications for osteoporosis work. Even healthy bones are susceptible to dissolution followed by rebuilding; age and menopause can accelerate the dissolution process and slower the rebuilding process. Osteoporosis medications primarily slow down the dissolution process and allow the rebuilding process to catch up. With the exception of teriparatide; all medications for osteoporosis have the same affect.


Biophosphonates are the specific class of drugs used to treat osteoporosis over a rather long period of time. These are one of the commonest and best medications for osteoporosis. These are known to result in a substantial decrease in bone loss while simultaneously lowering the risk of bone breakage.

Osteoclasts are a group of large and multinucleated cells that are largely responsible for the degradation of bone mass. These cells are effectively countered by Biophosphonates that slow them down and allow osteoblasts or bone building cells to have a greater and positive influence on bone mass and strength. Thus Biophosphonates effectively strengthen bones, reduce bone lass and substantially decrease the risk of bone breakage in those diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Biophosphonates are absorbed and retained by bones for many years and have continued beneficial effects on bones with long term treatment, thus making it one of the best medications for osteoporosis.

These medicines are usually advised to take immediately after waking up in the morning and on an empty stomach. These medications need to be taken with a substantial amount of water and food and drinks or other medications must be avoided for half an hour at the very least.

Biosphosphanate treatment for osteoporosis is generally a long term course and patients are generally prescribed these drugs for periods of time; ranging from 10 years for oral Biophosphonates and 6 years for intravenous Biophosphonates. This is the closest general treatment duration that mainly applies to women and doctors may prescribe otherwise based on various factors. Doctors often require patients to reassess fracture risks every two or three years and prescribe osteoporosis treatment accordingly. Although these are some of the best medications for osteoporosis, they too can have certain side effects, which can include

  • Increased bone aches after initially starting these medications.
  • Mild discomfort and inconvenience due to digestive issues.
  • Flu like conditions when given intravenously.
  • Skin rashes

While all of the above symptoms tend to go away with time; changes in kidney function and osteonecrosis caused by Biophosphonates can be cause for concern which needs additional attention from a doctor.

Other Best Medications for Osteoporosis

Apart from Biophosphonates the other best medications for osteoporosis include the following,

  • Osteoporosis is often caused by decrease in estrogen in post-menopausal women. Hence, hormone replacement therapy are also often used as medications for osteoporosis. However, the side effects of hormone replacement need to be considered. Doctors often prescribe the lowest doses of estrogen hormones for the shortest duration of time.
  • Medicines with hormone like properties such as raloxifene are also prescribed as medications for osteoporosis.
  • Denosumab is a newer drug that is currently being prescribed to those who cannot be prescribed Biophosphonates due to impaired kidney functions. Denosumab has proven to reduce the chances of bone fracture in both men and women afflicted by osteoporosis and hence, is one of the best medications for osteoporosis.
  • Teriparatide is specifically meant for the treatment of osteoporosis in men and post menopausal women with abnormally low bone density, history of fractures and osteoporosis brought on by steroid medications. Teriparatide has a well-documented bone building effect in such patients and can be used as best medications for osteoporosis.
  • Abaloparatide is the newest option for osteoporosis treatment, similar to teriparatide; it helps to rebuild bone. Research has shown this treatment to be as effective as teriparatide but also less likely to have the side effect of excess calcium production. This too is one of the effective medications for osteoporosis.

In conclusion; the information of the best medications for osteoporosis aims to provide better understanding of the drugs prescribed for osteoporosis. It also helps you to take control of your health and discuss with your physician about the best possible treatment in your case and the possible side effects. Additionally drugs and medications are hardly the only form of therapy for osteoporosis treatment; in fact all drugs and medications must be taken in conjunction with exercise and diet that supports bone health.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 17, 2019

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