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 healthy bones. For some women following these
strategies is just not enough. If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis
or have significant risk factors for developing osteoporosis, you may
also need to take a medication to reduce bone loss and /or prevent
fractures. Your doctor or medical professional 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 bone mineral density (BMD) T-score (assessed by DXA of your
spine and hip)
- Your risk factors for osteoporosis ( based on your risk assessment)
- Your risk factors for hip fracture that are independent of your
What are the medications for osteoporosis prevention and treatment
for postmenopausal women?
There are several medications that
have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for osteoporosis
prevention and/or treatment. In order for a medication for osteoporosis
to work effectively, the strategies for healthy bones must be followed.
This includes getting adequate intakes of calcium and vitamin
Are there any other treatments for osteoporosis?
and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures used to
help relieve pain and strengthen a broken spinal bone or vertebra.
These relatively new procedures should be limited for use as a last
resort for pain management for individuals with severe and persistent
pain who do not get pain relief from the conventional treatments
such as pain relief medications, cold or heat therapy, or bed rest.
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 significant.