Treatment

Medication for Osteoporosis

If you have osteoporosis your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes and/or drug treatment to prevent further bone loss. Drug treatment can reduce the risk of osteoporotic fractures by approximately 50% within a year of commencing treatment.

Several types of medication are available including:

Bisphosphonates

Reduce the risk of fracture in the hip and spine, and increase bone density which helps to protect against the development of osteoporosis.

There are three main bisphosphonates available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to treat osteoporosis:

  • Risedronate (trade name Actonel)
  • Alendronate (trade name Fosamax)
  • Etidronate (trade name Didronel)

Selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs)

Increase bone density and reduce the incidence of spinal fractures.

Hormone Therapy (HT)

Replaces the oestrogen that is lacking after menopause, which helps to reduce or prevent the rate of bone loss. In women taking HT to control menopausal symptoms, it is effective in reducing the incidence of fractures of the spine, hip and other sites. HT is no longer recommended for the sole purpose of reducing fracture risk as it has been associated with a relative increase in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer.

Parathyroid hormone (PTH)

Reduces the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures.

Strontium ranelate

Reduces the risk of vertebral fractures. Review our information on Pharmaceutical Benefits to learn how you may qualify for cheaper (Government subsidised) osteoporosis medication.

The good news is early detection is available and once detected, osteoporosis can be easily treated.