STATEWIDE OSTEOPOROSIS RESOURCE CENTER
 

Treatment of Osteoporosis for Postmenopausal Women

 

If I am postmenopausal and have osteoporosis, when is it necessary to take a medication?

It is important and necessary for all postmenopausal women to follow the strategies to promote stronger bones. For some women following these strategies is just not enough to prevent bone loss and/or broken bones. If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis or have significant risk factors for developing osteoporosis, you may need to take an osteoporosis medication. Your healthcare provider will review your medical history and assess the following factors to determine your need for an osteoporosis medication.

  • Your personal history of spine or hip fracture
  • Your risk factors for osteoporosis ( based on your risk assessment)
  • Your bone mineral density (BMD) T-score (assessed by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry or DXA of your spine and hip)
  • Your risk factors for hip fracture that are independent of your BMD test

Are there medications to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women?

There are several medications that have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for osteoporosis. In order for a medication for osteoporosis to work effectively, the strategies for healthy bones must be followed. It is especially important to consume the recommended daily amounts of calcium and vitamin D.

I have heard there are "natural" remedies to treat osteoporosis. Are they helpful?

It is important to be aware that there are alternative or over-the-counter treatments for osteoporosis that are based on testimonials and lack scientific evidence about effectiveness and safety. Furthermore, when taken at high doses, the risks of over-the-counter treatments are not known and may be harmful.