Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that affects bone density and is most prevalent in women, especially postmenopausal women, and the elderly. Osteoporosis can lead to brittle bones that fracture easily, can cause shrinkage of the spine and back pain, and can lead to permanent disability. The disease affects millions of Americans, but with raised awareness and the development of new osteoporosis drugs, early diagnosis and treatment has improved greatly.
The best treatment for osteoporosis is prevention. Vitamin D and calcium are essential to the prevention of osteoporosis. A bone density test can help a doctor determine your personal risk factor for developing the disease. Many osteoporosis drugs are available for both prevention and treatment.
Commonly prescribed osteoporosis drugs include bisphosphonates, calcitonin, raloxifine, and parathyroid hormone injections. Bisphosphonates are a group of osteoporosis drugs that have been found to slow the thinning of bone and increase bone density. Fosamax and Boniva are examples. These osteoporosis drugs can be used to treat men and women and are the most commonly prescribed.
Calcitonin (Calcimar) is another medication that can be used by both men and women. It is a hormone that occurs naturally and helps regulate calcium levels in the body. It can be taken by injection or as a nasal spray. It can slow bone thinning and also relieve pain associated with spinal compression.
Raloxifine, or Evista, is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). It is used only in women and can not only slow the thinning of bones, but increase bone density. Parathyroid hormones, which are given by injection, can be used to treat both men and postmenopausal women.
Discussing your risk factors for developing osteoporosis and preventative measures you can take are essential. Only your doctor can diagnosis and treat osteoporosis and you can discuss your concerns regarding osteoporosis drugs with your doctor before starting a prevention or treatment plan.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.