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New Osteoporosis Medications

Updated on May 24, 2020
Pamela99 profile image

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

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Osteoporosis Facts

In the U.S. about one out of every two women will fracture a bone due to osteoporosis. There are approximately ten million Americans with osteoporosis and eighty percent of them are women. When women between the ages of twenty to eighty will lose a third of their bone mineral density in their hips. Bones continually break down and rebuild but as we age the bones can no longer rebuild fast enough. When men reach sixty five to seventy years of age they are losing bone as fast as women.

More women get osteoporosis because:

  • Women tend to have thinner, smaller bones than men
  • As women age they produce less estrogen, which normally protects women from bone loss after menopause
  • Over twenty percent of older women who are Causacian are at a higher risk as many do not tolerate milk products, eat an unhealthy diet or smoke
  • Over fifty percent of women have low bone mass (the bones are weaker but there is no osteoporosis)

What is Osteoporosis and Who Gets It?

Osteoporosis causes the bones to become brittle and weak, which increases the risk of a bone fracture. Osteoporosis occurs silently, progressively and quite often there is no sign until a bone break occurs. As a woman ages, particularly after menopause, the bones will break down faster, and the body cannot keep pace with the deterioration, so the bones become weaker. After menopause a woman no longer produces estrogen, which is another reason for weak and brittle bones.

Approximately fifteen percent of Caucasian women are lactose intolerant and that makes getting a healthy amount of calcium difficult. Five percent of African American women over fifty years of age are estimated to have osteoporosis. Asan women over the age of fifty have approximately a twenty percent bone loss. Ten percent of Latinos have bone loss as well. Norway has one of the highest osteoporosis diagnosis rates per capita for women. Throughout Europe forty percent of women and fifteen to thirty percent of men will have a fragility fracture in their lifetime.

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Healthy Ways to Prevent Osteoporosis

Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is important. Eating a healthy balanced meal will help keep your bones healthier. If you cannot drink enough milk, be sure to get outside in the sun every day. It is also possible to take a calcium and vitamin D supplement if you know you are not getting them in your diet.

Exercise will help your bones stay strong, so start the exercise habit when you are young and be consistent. Do not smoke or drink alcohol. Another vitamin that helps osteoporosis is vitamin K2.

Osteoporosis Exercises for Hip Strengthening

Bone Density

The way to know about the health of someone’s bones is to do a bone density study. This test result shows a Z-score and a T-score. The T-score is used to diagnose osteoporosis in the postmenopausal woman and for men that are age 50 or more. This score is not for the premenopausal woman.

The Z-score will compare your bone density score to a normal score for a person that is your age. A Z-score is not used for diagnosis of osteoporosis in premenopausal women but it does provide important information. A second bone density test should be completed one or two years after the first bone density test to determine if the peak bone mass is staying the same.

Your bone density score is compared to what is normal for your age. If the Z-score is -2.0 or lower then it is below what is expected for your age.

If the Z-score is normal but if you have had a fractured bone from a minor injury then your doctor may diagnose you with osteoporosis as some women with a normal bone density score still break bones easily, so they do have osteoporosis.

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Medications for Osteoporosis

There are fewer medicines available for premenopausal women with osteoporosis. If women have taken steroid medicines for a long time then there are three osteoporosis medications approved for the treatment of osteoporosis in some cases.

There are some medications that typically slow the breakdown of bones, so the bones stay healthier.

The most recent new medication approved by the FDA is a dual-acting drug (romosozumab) that is giving patients more control in preventing fractures. Another new medication is Abaloparatide (Tymlos). It also has the potential to rebuild bones. Apparently these drugs are less likely to cause an excess of calcium but still maintain the strength of the bones.

Denosumab (Prolia, Xgeva) are other newer medications that will reduce the probability of fractures in women and men.

Other typical medications for osteoporosis treatment are bisphosphonates include:

  • Alendronate (Fosamax)
  • Risedronate (Actonel)
  • Ibandronate (Boniva)
  • Zoledronic acid (Reclast)
  • Raloxifene (Evista)

The use of estrogen is sometimes a cause for concern due to side effects. The use of estrogen should be using the lowest possible dosage to prevent side effects. Sometimes menopausal symptoms are the consideration to weigh the benefits of improved bone health. Talk to your physician about any medication that is being considered and ask about possible side effects

Teriparatide (Forteo) is a medication for men and postmenopausal women who have a very low bone density, those who have had fractures or those whose osteoporosis is caused by steroid medication. This medication means an injection every morning. It is taken for two years only once in a lifetime. It has the potential to rebuild bones. I took this medication and improved by nine percent in the first year and in two weeks I will have a second bone density to determine where I am now.

Bisphosphonates for the Treatment of Osteoporosis

In Conclusion

When you are young it is important to eat healthy and exercise. If you have some autoimmune disease, like lupus, then long term steroid use can be an issue. When you have taken any cortisone over a long period of time bone density testing is imperative. It is important to treat bone density issues while you are younger when possible.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

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  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Flourish,

    I am hoping I get a good result after the next scan. I am just thrilled I haven't had any broken bones in 2 years. I appreciate your good wishes.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 

    5 weeks ago from USA

    It’s great to hear about your success with that medicine. Good luck on the results of that next test.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Alyssa,

    I think it is very good that you are paying attention to your health at this age as I think it will pay off when you get older. Thank you for your comments.

  • Alyssa Nichol profile image

    Alyssa 

    5 weeks ago from Ohio

    This was very interesting and a topic close to my heart! As I've gotten older, I've realized the value of doing what I can to stay healthy for as long as possible. I know I have several years before I have to start worrying about Menopause, but at the recommendation of my doctor for issues I was having, I've been taking a calcium with vitamin D supplement every day. It actually has helped tremendously and I'm pleased to say I haven't had to go back to see my doctor in almost a year. I'm not a milk person, I just don't like it. I do enjoy yogurt, though, so that's something :) I love your tip about getting out in the sunshine! In addition to the vitamin D, it's a great mood booster! Thank you, Pamela! I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Rajan,

    It sure helps to eat healthy and exercise. Thanks fr your comments.

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 

    6 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

    Thanks for sharing this information and the new medications for osteoporosis. Sensible eating and a healthy lifestyle can delay or largely eliminate the need for these medications.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Devika,

    I am glad you diet is good for your bones. I appreciate your comments.

    Stay safe and healthy!

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    6 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Pamela, I appreciated your lovely comment.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    6 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    I drink milk and get enough sun daily. Your tips are important and most useful. I have a friend who is Osteopin and she is cautious about her diet.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Thank you Miebakagh.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    6 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    This is a sensible advice.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lori, I am glad this article was useful for you. Remember that I am not a doctor, so always listen to their advice. Evenity does sound like the perfect medication for you. I hope you stay as healthy as possible, Lori.

  • Lora Hollings profile image

    Lora Hollings 

    6 weeks ago

    Thanks Pamela for your opinion on the evenity. I really appreciate it as I don't know much about it. I'll try the vitamin K2 as well. I will go ahead with the evenity injections with much more confidence now. And I will make every attempt to avoid back surgery!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Manatita,

    I do believe has a huge impact on osteoporosis and on really any disease. I appreciate your comments as they are exactly right in my opinion. Thank you.

  • manatita44 profile image

    manatita44 

    6 weeks ago from london

    An informative piece. Osteoporosis is a huge problem. Still, many of the natural science American doctors are coming up with ways of reducing aging by looking at food, strengthening the gut and immune system. They say this helps a lot!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda,

    I was surprised that the fracture numbers were so high also even though I knew it was a big problem for many women. Thank you for your comments, Linda.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    6 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

    The fracture rate in your opening sentence is scary. That's something that is very important for women to think about. Thank you for creating an informative and useful article, Pamela.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Maria, I am glad to hear that because when you said you were dwon 2" I was concerned because that is the same height loss as me and my bone density was awful. However, it has improved greatly. Have a good day Maria. Love,

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    6 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Thank you, wonderful Nurse Pam - even nurses need reminders (especially me)!

    My bone density test was OK - in spite of my loss of some height.

    Love you, Maria

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Maria,

    I started taking Fosamax a long time ago and have taken several stronger medications for osteoporosis, primarily due to taking prednione for lupus.

    Of course, It is good that you like dairy and sunshine. I hope you have had a bone density test to know for sure that your bones are good.

    I appreciate your comments, Maria. Love and hugs.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Dr. Singh, Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lori,

    I am sorry to hear about your health problems. I was not familiar with evenity, so I just read about it. It sounds like the perfect treatment for you due to your factor V Leiden probleI think you will probably get a good result. After the year I think the doctor will order the bone density test for you. I read about the importance of calcium also. Vitamin D is important also.

    You might take vitamin K2 also. My ortho doc told me about a study in Europe where this vitamin was found to be helpful for bone growth.

    I appreciate you generous comments. I wish you the best of health and no bone fractures in the future. Based on my esperience, even if you have back pain understand that you are high risk for back surgery, so avoid it if possible.

  • Lora Hollings profile image

    Lora Hollings 

    6 weeks ago

    Hi Pamela,

    I have a very low bone density but I've always had a healthy diet and exercise every day since I was in my twenties. I've been on steroids for 7 months in my life when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease but it has since gone into remission. But because I have factor V Leiden and have had blood clots, I've been on warfarin for the last 9 years. I've read that if you are on a blood thinner such as warfarin, that it is a good idea to take vitamin D supplements as there has been a correlation shown between warfarin and osteoporosis. Unfortunately, the doctor that I was going to before didn't order a Dexa bone density test so it left me in a situation where I now have severe osteoporosis in my back. I'm now going to a bone doctor who has prescribed monthly injections of evenity. Have you ever heard of this drug? While you're taking these injections, your blood has to be monitored closely for calcium levels. Your article certainly makes people aware of how important it is as they age to get regular bone density scans. So many doctors seem to be lax in this area. You really have to be informed of how important this matter is so that you can remind them. Your article is very helpful and provides an excellent overview of medications used to treat osteoporosis.

  • C V Singh profile image

    C V Singh 

    6 weeks ago from India

    Well researched article with lot of useful information. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Peggy,

    I am glad to hear your bone density test was good. I have taken vitamin D for several years also.

    I appreciate your comments, as always.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    6 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Pamela, its okay.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

    Thanks for writing your informative article, Pamela. I have had a couple of routine bone density tests as a part of a routine medical checkup, and so far, so good. One doctor also suggested taking a vitamin D capsule which I have now been doing for years. Hope that the new medications have fewer side effects for those who need to take them.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Yes Miebakagh, and I agree. Thank you.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    6 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Pamela. This comment is very friendly. I hope our friend can tolorated the new medication

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Doris,

    I know you have multiple health problems as you have shared that with me prior to today. I did not tolerate Fosamax or Lyrica either for long. I hope some of the new medications might help you. I don;t know if you see a GYN doc or even your primary care doctor could order a bone density test, which I think is important in your case. You would at least know if your bones are a problem.

    I appreciate your comments and i hope you find medications that you tolerate. Be safe and healthy, Doris.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    6 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Pamela,

    My mother had osteoporosis and took Fosamax. I am heartened at the number of new medications available.

    I'm grateful to love dairy (especially yogurt and cheese) and the sunshine. Despite this, I have lost 2-inches over my life so it is something to always be conscious of.

    No sun on this Memorial Day - maybe tomorrow! Have a peaceful day and take good care of yourself.

    Love and hugs,

    Maria

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James MizBejabbers 

    6 weeks ago from Beautiful South

    Thank you, Pamela, for this article. I need to arm myself with your information on these new medications to discuss with my doctor (if we are ever able to get to see them for nonemergency treatment). I'm not lactose intolerant, instead I have a very undesirable reaction to milk and soft cheeses and my favorite, ice dream. I HURT when I consume dairy products. I was diagnosed with CRPS after an accident that left me with a spinal injury. Dairy products bring about pain in my broken but healed vertebra and pains that shoot across my back and down my arms. I took Lyrica for awhile that worked like a charm, but the side effects started to outweigh the benefits. So now I drink almond milk. It's fortified with calcium, but I don't drink much of it because it's hard on the tummy. I haven't had a bone density test in years, but I was warned of being at risk for osteopenia. My husband has been diagnosed with osteopenia despite drinking mucho leche.

    I used to take Fosamax, but it blurs my vision permanently. A friend of mine was on it for years, but she developed the dental and jawbone issue and stopped taking it. So hopefully, maybe some of the new meds won't have so many detrimental side effects.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ms Dora,

    Thank you for your very nice comments. Stay safe and healthy.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi MG,

    Being active and eating healthy may spare you getting osteoporosis. I agree that being forwarned is good. I appreciate your very nice comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ann,

    It is wonderful that you have the Royal Osteoporosis Society as it gets all the important information out to those that need to stay updated. I also had my ovaries removed and I don't tolerate milk. I have been on medications for several years and it has helped.

    I also like the hard cheeses and yogurt. I appreciate all of your remarks and hope you stay healthy.

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 

    6 weeks ago from SW England

    I have osteoporosis, diagnosed a couple of years ago. I take Risedronate tablets weekly with a daily intake of calcium/vit D chewable tablets. It seems to be working. I started with a severe back ache, was diagnosed with a scan, and have taken the medication since. I've never liked milk since being very young (though I'm not intolerant) so I think that is probably one reason that I have this problem. I also had both ovaries removed a few years ago but no one told me (I've since read about it) that this increases the likelihood of osteoporosis. I do like the hard cheeses (like our Cheddar) and natural yoghurt.

    It's good to set out the whys and wherefores and you've stated clearly what this is all about, which helps those new to it all. Here in Britain we have the Royal Osteoporosis Society, with a monthly magazine and all sorts of articles, suggestions and helplines. I am a member and I find it good to know there is a source of support should I need it.

    Thankfully, I'm not suffering unduly as it seems to have been nipped in the bud but we'll see what the future brings!

    All the best to you, Pamela.

    Ann

  • MG Singh profile image

    MG Singh 

    6 weeks ago from UAE

    You have a wealth of knowledge Pamela. I read your article with great interest because I could be infected of this later on. Better to be forwarned and ready.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

    Thanks especially for the information on bone density. You have given us good information on preventing osteoporosis. As usual, very helpful.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Sowrabha,

    I am glad you found this article helpful and I hope you can make those healthy changes. I appreciate your comments.

  • Sowrabha Mahesh profile image

    sowspeaks 

    6 weeks ago from Bengaluru

    Hi Pamela, as a woman I found this article very helpful. There are days when I rarely care about myself. I eat right, thankfully not lactose intolerant but need to get more exercise. Thanks for adding those useful videos.. going to try them right away.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Miebakagh,

    It sounds like you have some very healthy habits, which is very good. Thank you for your comments.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    6 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Pamela, thanks for sharing your wealth of knowlegh on the challenge. I am sure many men and women are ignorant of the disease until a bone break. I am over 60. I exposed my body to the 7.30 AM Sun regularly, drink some milk daily in tea. Exercised weekly. I eat lots of greens and fruits. All these to keep osteoporosis at bare. Thanks again.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Genna,

    Your comments are so true and I do imagine the Cocid-19 crisis is keeping people indoors. Even everyone's diet may not be great as sometimes you can't find everything you want in the store. I appreciate your comments.

    Be safe and healthy, Genna.

  • Genna East profile image

    Genna East 

    6 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Hi Pamela...

    An excellent article. I think many of us overlook getting enough Calcium and Vitamin D as we grow older. This is especially true with the advent f the Covid-19 crisis, and many who are homebound who do not venture forth outside in the sun. And bone health is so important! Thank you.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Eric,

    Yes, and bone health is important. Thank you so much for your comments. I hope you have a good day.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Rosina,

    I think more exercise will make you feel better and protect your body. I am glad you found the article useful and I appreciate your comments.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Another great article. These concepts seem to be good for all bone health.

  • surovi99 profile image

    Rosina S Khan 

    6 weeks ago

    Pamela, this article was really useful. I am still in my forties and I eat healthy but do not exercise that much. Your article on osteoporosis inspires me to exercise a little bit more. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda,

    When you have such a strong family history I guess it is inevitable. I am glad you are being careful. I appreciate your comments as always.

    Stay safe and healthy, with no falls!

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    6 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

    Pamela, I should have known that this would be an issue for me, but merrily went on my way despite the fact that my mom had osteoporosis and all 3 sisters fell and broke their wrists. I've fallen 3 times and each time broke a rib. I'm on Foxomax now (6 months) and have had no more injuries, but I'm VERY careful about walking. Thanks for another great article. I hope your younger readers take it to heart.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Liz,

    Osteoporosis is a major problem for so many women. I didn't know about Prince Charles's wife. I greatly appreciate your very nice comments. Stay safe and healthy.

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    6 weeks ago from UK

    I didn't realise how high the figures were. I have known friends have bone density tests whilst undergoing treatment for cancer. Prince Charles's wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, has an interest in treatment being developed as her mother died due to osteoporosis in 1994. As always, you have produced an informative and very well-structured article on the subject.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Heidi,

    I know more women who are getting treatment then those that don't need it. Thank you for commenting. Your comments are always appreciated. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bill,

    You are fortunate to be so healthy. I hope your Sunday is spectcular as well. I always appreciate your comments, my friend.

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 

    6 weeks ago from Chicago Area

    Thanks for sharing your osteoporosis experience! I'm getting treatment for it, too. It's a very frustrating condition. Have a great day!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

    Every single one of your medical articles reminds me of how incredibly lucky and blessed I have been regarding health. Thank you for the information, and I hope you have a spectacular Sunday!

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